Just a few weeks ago students all over the world took their final exams, wrote their last essay, and put the finishing touches to their thesis project – all from the comfort of home. When schools close their doors in March because of COVID-19, there is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen in the spring semester. Over time, that is’We were truly astonished to see the community gather to make virtual appointments, graduations, and starters for students, but we couldn’t help but wonder how the students themselves felt.
Instead of trying to imagine what it was like to have our college semester completely revoked and moved online, we talked with five fashion students about their experiences. Overcoming a large number of uncertainties and emotions, find out how the five determined students completed the semester last spring.
Eugene Lang’s Liberal Arts School at The New School
Journalism + Design & Communication Mode – Class 2020
What was your graduation day like?
“After four years of hard work without stopping and moving 2,000 miles across the country by myself, I woke up on the morning of my graduation, opened my laptop, and saw my name floating on the screen for three seconds. It feels like an empty state – if that makes sense. Obviously very sad to miss the actual ceremony and celebration with the people I love, but in the long run, it feels strange. Especially because I wasn’t really aware when I went for spring break that I would never return. It feels like I don’t have closure entering the biggest transition of my life. We have just been pushed into this gap of manhood in the most bizarre circumstances, without transition or resources or any closure. “
Do you remember your last day, or the last time you were on campus?
“I really missed what turned out to be my last class, because I woke up feeling sick and hadn’t used my absence during the semester. It was Wednesday, and everything was canceled by my next class on Friday. So my last time on campus might have been spent doing something smooth like throwing an empty Sweetgreen bowl in the cafeteria or waving to a friend in the lobby. Those little things actually don’t look smooth now, and I hope I appreciate them more before I leave and never come back. “
After graduating, what do you think of the future?
“To be honest, my mindset is really pessimistic at the moment. I don’t know when I will have a job, or whether I have to return home when my rent expires. Every time I read the news, I am reminded that the economy is in ruins. I try very hard to stay positive given the privileges I have, and I try to manifest good opportunities and creative ways to support myself, but for a few days I am just overwhelmed with the feeling that it’s of no use. “
Merchandising Mode – Class 2022
How does COVID-19 and completing this semester away from campus affect your college experience?
“Being away from school and fully online has made me realize that I am a really direct face-to-face learner. It is very difficult to understand and store information from lectures via video chat in my room versus in the learning environment. That makes it very difficult to focus and finish work efficiently with home distractions. As for the class, more creativity is needed [from me,] far from the city and lack of contact with people makes it very difficult to find inspiration. “
How does it feel to complete your final project?
“I have several assignments at the end of this semester. One of them is creating a sustainable organizational system; the other is actually a statistical project. Fortunately, it’s not too crazy – even though all of this is a group project, so being away from school really impedes communication. We correspond mostly through Zoom, but there are always problems with technology or time zones. It’s also much more difficult to get in touch with professors for questions and things like that. “
What do you think about returning to campus?
“I will never complain about school again – haha. I never thought I would really miss him. I miss my trip to and between classes. I miss being able to chat and work with my professors and classmates. I miss only being in an environment where the main priority is learning. I really hope that the school is open for fall. Doing another semester online will encourage me crazy! “
Fashion Technology Institute
Fashion Design – Class 2020
Can you tell us if you remember what you thought at the beginning of the semester? And if so, how do they change?
“The semester before our final semester, our teachers will tell us about how organized, planned, and determined we must be for our final semester to complete our thesis collection on time. There was a lot of pressure, so I set this strict plan, a very tight timeline, all of it. But then it falls pretty much as the school closes. My mind at that time was just graduating and finishing school. “
What is your final project for this semester? How do you solve it?
“My final project for this semester is my thesis collection – I completed two of the three performances that we had to do at first. Luckily I have a sewing machine in my apartment (many students don’t, so they have to sew full clothes), so I can sew from home, and the floor becomes my desk. My back and knees are very painful. Everything took longer to do, and there were many things that I had to replace, change, and get cunningly. I have to use the inventory that I have at home and just find out. Some of the clothes I worked on for other classes had mismatched buttons, uneven layers–whatever fabric and trims I have left are used in these projects. That’s actually a really cool process, and now when I look at these parts, there is a lot of meaning to them. That is, too’It was great to be able to use the rest of my inventory and save money. “
How does it feel to be in the 2020 class?
“This is very anticlimactic. I try not to think too much about it because I’m a little sad. We all fashion design majors at FIT have dreamed about our thesis collection and entered into this year’s final fashion show, “Future of Fashion” (FoF). I care more about fashion shows than graduation ceremonies. I would fantasize about one of my appearances on the runway if I entered, what shoes she would wear, hair and makeup, which would be my plus-two at the show, what I would wear … That was ridiculous, but it was a big moment for us. There are big industry people, designers, etc., who come to the show, and many students are picked up for work. I really just want to feel the moment when all of my hard work was paid attention to and celebrated with all the people I had put off for years. “
Fashion Technology Institute
Business Management Mode – Class 2021
How do you feel when entering your senior year in college after seeing how class 2020 is completed this semester?
“Watching the 2020 class end the semester in a sad way. They are left behind lastly college semester. They missed so many important things, such as graduation and fashion shows for their senior year. I hope my senior year wins’I won’t be affected … but I feel my first semester, at least, will be online too. “
Can you tell us what your finals are?
“[My] The final project for this semester is to create a mini collection for Spring / Summer 2021 for any brand we choose. We were asked to take six main styles and develop them into 21 different styles based on textiles and our brand knowledge, trend estimates, and retail mathematics. We have to provide fabric and fiber construction, retail prices … that’s a lot of work. “
Tell about one of your last moments on campus.
“I really remember the last time I was on campus, I believe it was March 13. Before that, our professors realized how the semester was developing rapidly and warned us that our classes could be online in the future. Everyone looked rather shy about being on campus and worried about what the future of the corona virus was. “
The Parsons Design School in the New School
BFA Fashion Design – Class 2020
How does COVID-19 affect your plans after graduation?
“During my spring semester, I was a design intern for a brand that I really admired. I was very happy with the job and was determined to remain with the company after graduation. But when COVID struck, they were forced to stop their apprenticeship program, which ended my time working there. I would say that of all things, this affected me the most. I was so determined to have the job after graduation. I like teams, I work hard, and I’m good at work.
“When March came, I switched from being so sure about my future to having no plans anymore. And now, instead of celebrating my graduation, I’m afraid of the possibility of unemployment. Everything is very uncertain for me at this time. I feel scared, I feel hopeless, and I feel useless. But this will not last forever, and I feel that we as creative will bounce back stronger than before. Until now, I have used my free time by cooking and drawing and ultimately creating a better version of myself for the future. “
Now that you have officially graduated, how does it feel to be part of the 2020 class?
“I would say that the 2020 class is a certainty that will never be forgotten. We are empathizing with people of all ages, all over the world. Initially, I will admit that I was very disappointed that I would not have a normal graduation or a year-end fashion show, which made me feel that my hard work would not be recognized. But when I think about it, I realize that we are all experiencing the same thing, and there are people with problems far greater than me. Overall, I’m still very grateful to receive my degree and say that I’m a graduate! Even though I can’t really enjoy the last semester of my senior year, being part of the 2020 class has really taught me a lot about patience, understanding, and endurance. “
How does it feel for you to complete your final project?
“My last fashion project is my thesis collection, which is a year-round project that began at the beginning of my senior year. In mid-March when COVID reached, [it] also a crucial time for a thesis [projects.] I should have finished my last outfit, did a photo shoot, arranged a professional portfolio, and so on. Because the shop is closed, I can’t buy some of the cloth that I need. Luckily, I have my own sewing machine at home, so I can continue to work with what I have. I finished all but two clothes from my collection, but I will say that I am quite cunning with limited resources. One of my works – top – requires 10+ meters of gold chains, which I cannot get. So I actually connected each of my gold necklaces and bracelets to complete the piece, and it worked pretty well. I also had to model my own clothes and take photos at home with the help of my roommate, using natural light and white canvas as smooth fabric. Overall, I am very grateful that I was able to finish my thesis fairly [a] some accident. This experience clearly taught me how to be resourceful, to say the least. “
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