Queens and Bitches

Someone I vaguely knew from Shanghai contacted me via Facebook the other day, asking me about FIT. She asked about the school, classes, people and the general environment. Hooooo… Where to start?

Fashion Institute of Technology is a special place. At first it can be a little overwhelming. Well, I thought so anyway. Not only was I new to America, I was new to New York, new to college, new to bitchy fashionistas, and yes I’m going to say it – new to being around gays. I only knew one gay guy back in Shanghai, and he didn’t even come out while I was there. So, basically, I never really knew anyone who was gay. Obviously, I have NOTHING against gays. I have a few close gay friends now, and I love them. It was just hard to adjust to being surrounded by them… ALL the time. I’m not even that feminine. I guess I can be pretty tomboyish sometimes. Most of my friends are dudes.

Anyways. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. I was pretty blown away by how people acted at FIT, especially at the freshmen dorms. They were so… mean. It seemed like all the people I met had an agenda of bringing others down to make themselves feel better. Even around people who I considered my “new friends,” I noticed that my self-confidence was constantly under attack – subtly at times, but bluntly at other times. Divas and queens would drop snide remarks, hitting you where it hurts while disguised as a joke. I don’t joke at others’ expense (on second thought, yes I do, but never like that). I can be funny without hurting someone’s feelings, thank you very much.

I was used to friendly people. In Shanghai, international kids were always coming and going. That’s what we got for being expats. We were used to meeting new people all the time, as well as saying goodbye to our friends. We felt a strong bond as a group, like a little community. Actually, no. It wasn’t that little.

So FIT gave me a bad first impression of “American” colleges. It wasn’t until I had visited some other “normal” colleges (more on that later) I realized that college wasn’t such a hostile place. Plus, I’ve met a lot of chill (and perfectly pleasant) people at FIT over the last two years. FIT is not a “real” college. We don’t get a campus experience (because we don’t fucking have one) or a sense of real community. It not only is a university in middle one of the most competitive cities in the world, but it’s filled with viciously competitive people… those who are perfectly willing to walk over someone to get ahead.

Yeah, I was spiteful. I was depressed. I was nostalgic. I felt out of place. It wasn’t until I started meeting people from outside of FIT I truly broke out of my shell and began to act like myself again (I had put on a different persona to fit in).

I’m used to FIT bitches now (both the mean ones and the stupid ones). Which reminds me – the other day, I was in front of an FIT building trying to have a cigarette. I couldn’t find my lighter anywhere. I approached the nearest chick who was smoking, and asked if I could please use her lighter. Her eyes darted up (she didn’t even lift her head), and she stared up at me like I had two heads, looking almost disgusted. What the fuck? It was as if she was saying “how DARE you ask me for my lighter.” I stood there, lifting an eyebrow. “I don’t have one,” she said. How the fuck did your cigarette get lit, then? Classic. Bitch.

In conclusion – if you’re weak hearted or weak willed, FIT is probably not the place for you. People will walk all over your ass. You’ve got to be driven, assertive. Show them bitches who’s boss.

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About Han J.

Located in NYC.

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