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24 Hours as a Sophomore Fashion Major


As a fashion major, every day is different. Though our weekly course schedule remains the same, our daily lives are determined by the type and the amount of work we get. Throughout the last few weeks, we have been completing our midterms, which range from the typical tests and papers to designing and constructing garments. Below, I take you along for one day in the life as a sophomore fashion major at Parsons:

Thursday March 14, 2013 (Pi Day!)

Red alarm clock
Photo Credit

7  AM: The alarm goes off. I usually set three alarms on my phone — just to be on the safe side — though I often wake up to the first one and switch off the others.

7:30-8 AM: Since the majority of my classes are at night this semester, I rarely wake up so early. However, I have a presentation in my first class and I want to make sure I’m prepared. I start my day off by taking a shower and eating breakfast. For me, breakfast is really important, since it fuels my productivity — especially when I don’t get a lot of sleep. I also have a major sweet tooth, so I try to incorporate a little of that into my breakfast. Today I went with a healthier, energy-filled meal of strawberry yogurt, granola, and fruit.

8-8:15 AM: The fashion campus is uptown, and since I dorm in the East Village, I have to commute via subway to class. It takes approximately fifteen minutes. During this time, I like to go over things I’d like to accomplish for the day as well as throughout the week. Sometimes, I scan the day’s WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) for the latest fashion news on my Kindle or listen to music.

8:15-9 AM: I arrive before my class starts to work on the presentation. I need to make a second muslin from an original pattern I revised for my “zero waste garment” assignment.

Nyc parsons school
Photo Credit

9 AM-12 PM: I put supplies for my later classes into my locker at the main fashion building before moving to the other fashion building where I have my studio elective, Zero Waste Garment. This is the only class that I have before 3:50 PM this semester, and it’s one of my favorites. Currently, we are working on our first major project: a garment where we must utilize all of the fabric, including the selvages (the ends of the fabrics which prevent it from unraveling), to make a finished piece.

Today is our midterm critique. We present our progress, pattern, our garment’s basic silhouette in muslin, and our plan for how to deal with the excess fabric once we cut out the pattern. This class is very different from my core Integrated Studio: 3D class, where we learn and follow a set of rules in order to construct a garment. In this class, we are allowed to try anything and break all the rules…as long as we make a wearable garment using all the fabric.

12-3:40 PM: After class, I usually have enough time to go home and finish up some work there. However, every so often, I decide to have lunch with my classmates and stay at school.

Today, I use this time to complete my muslin creative pants for Integrated Studio 3D. My 3D teacher wants us to custom fit pants to our measurements, so I have to alter my pants after I try them on. I reduce the size of the legs and made the side pocket more drape-y in order to mimic my sketch.

3:40-3:50 PM: I show the completed muslin pants to my teacher on the way to my next class to get some feedback. She recommends adding a dart in the flared pocket in order to prevent it from gaping.


3:50-6:30 PM: Integrated Studio 2D class. We spend the class working on our midterm project, which is due next Tuesday. I spend the time narrowing down my fabric swatches by switching out herringbone for more graphic prints. For this project, we are working on our “alter ego”, creating collections that reflect the opposite of our usual aesthetics. For me, it means utilizing more basic, geometric, structured forms that are less body-conscious. I’m also working with menswear. I look at elements of minimalism, Precisionism, and Russian Constructivism to get the final 14 looks. I am usually drawn towards colors for my collections, so this time I challenge myself by working solely with gray scale.

I spend the rest of class reviewing my 14 looks. Collections need to be cohesive, but not too repetitive in order to provide the customer with more of a selection. To mix things up, I work to adjust the hemlines and disperse the new prints within my looks.

6:30-7 PM: Dinner time! I go to a nearby deli for some make-your-own pasta. This time I try a mushroom sauce, which I pair with penne, red chili flakes, cherry tomatoes, peas, and crispy chicken. Delicious!

Menswear figure1

7-9:40 PM: Drawing class. We alternate each week between drawing models and rendering the figures to redesigning the clothes we sketched from the previous week with textiles our teacher demonstrated. This week, we show him tricky swatches from our 2D midterm projects and he goes around the room, suggesting materials we can use and steps we could take to realistically represent the fabric. Later in class, we are able to work on our figures for 2D while he continues with individual midterm evaluations.

Frozen yogurt
Photo Credit

9-40-10 PM:  I pack up my things and take the subway back home. My roommate and I have classes on the same floor, and every so often we decide to take a pit stop for froyo (I’m just a little obsessed) before we return to the dorm. Mochi and fruit toppings on mine – yum!

Pants sketch

10 P -2 AM: Since I have a large midterm project due next week, I decide to get a head start on the flats for the 2D portion based on my revised edits. I work on these until 2 AM, which — especially around the days of a project deadline — is an early bedtime. I plan out the next day and text for a bit before getting some shut eye.

Your Thoughts?

What’s 24 hours like in your major? Did you find this interesting? Would you like to know more and read about an average week as a fashion major? Tell me what you think by leaving a comment below!

Posted on on March 30, 2013 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , , ,

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33 Responses to “24 Hours as a Sophomore Fashion Major”

  1. 1
    March 30th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Whitney,

    This is more of a question, rather than a comment.

    In the Spring of 2009, I completed my Freshman year of university in Kentucky. At the time my degree was in Studio Art. That Fall, I switched majors to Theater and have since then, taken a leave of absence.

    This past January, I relocated to Connecticut and have since been trying to find the right time and right university to apply to. I’ve always had an interest in fashion and have been told that I have talent.

    I was curious to know what the application process was like for a school like Parsons?


  2. 2
    March 30th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Wow, this is soo interesting! I never really thought about what people actually do when they study fashion, this sounds like loads of fun! I’d love to hear more about the design process and your assignments.

  3. 3
    March 31st, 2013 at 12:20 am

    as a second semester freshman at Parsons, its exciting to see what I will be doing next year as a fashion design major. I can’t wait to start classes! (Although foundation year has been fun and useful)

  4. 4
    March 31st, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I’m studying Design and Merchandising at Drexel University so its always fun for me to see what other people who are studying fashion at other schools do! I think its funny that the conclusion is always the same–the workload is (almost) unpredictable and it a lot of late nights.

  5. 5
    March 31st, 2013 at 2:29 am

    So you absolutely have to be able draw to be a fashion major? What fashion like majors would be best for a person who can’t draw?

  6. 6
    March 31st, 2013 at 4:41 am

    I loved this post! It’s so fun reading what other majors go through in a normal day.
    My 24 hours in my major (pre-med/nursing) is pretty jam packed! Here’s one of the days in a normal schedule for me-

    10am-12pm- Wake up for my 11:15am physics 2 class. The reason why I get up so late is because of my night shift that I’ll address later. My physics class runs till 12:10pm.

    12pm-1pm- Lunch/catch up on homework/nap time. Whatever I need to address more will happen in this period of time.

    1pm-2:30pm- Nursing class. This is health assessment, where we learn about diseases, how they impact the body, and how we identify it.

    2:45pm-4:30pm- Tutoring at a middle school. I tutor middle school kids for my volunteering service project, Reading is Leading, which is hosted by the Mortar Board Honor Society that I am a member of.

    5pm-6:30pm- Toxicology class. We learn about toxins, their biochemical make up, and how they impact humans and nature on both a molecular and grandiose level.

    6:30pm-8pm- Nap time! I need a quick recharge before my work.

    8:30pm-7:00am- Night shift at the hospital. My job requires me to work a 10 hour shift, and the only time I physically have for that is during the nights, so I opt for night shifts at the hospital. It’s honestly pretty fun! I get my clinical experiences out of the way, and learn a lot from the physicians.

    My schedule is often commented by many about how it seems I don’t sleep too much, but I’m pretty used to it! Thanks to your many posts on make up and fashion, I’m able to have a well-put-together look that doesn’t make me seem too sleep deprived!

  7. 7
    March 31st, 2013 at 5:59 am

    I’m simply shocked at how little sleep you get! 2 to 7 a.m is 5 hours! Have you thought about relocating other stuff throughout your day to get more sleep? I’d help you if you’d like
    Also, is it customary to have dinner between 6 band 7 p.m.?

  8. 8
    March 31st, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Your day seems exhausting but creative and fun…ahh I’m so jealous! Good luck with your studies from a boring Marketing major in Greece :)

  9. 9
    March 31st, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Wow, this article was really interesting for me as a person who has no clue about what does it mean to study fashion. I would love to see some of your midterm projects… maybe in one of your next articles?

  10. 10
    March 31st, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Loved this!!

  11. 11
    March 31st, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I feel so unproductive after reading this, lol. I’m majoring in finance, but the work load is very light so I have a lot of free time. Thank you for sharing! :)

  12. 12
    March 31st, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    In my 4th year of physics, this is a pretty typical day for me:
    6:45-Roll out of bed, shower, eat breakfast
    7:30-Walk to school, check email
    10:00-Check email, freak out about grad school decisions
    11:00-Dance rehearsal
    1:00-Lunch, homework
    2:30-TA intro lab
    5:30-Dinner, whining about lab students
    8:30-Lab work
    11:00-Walk home, clean up apartment a bit

  13. 13
    March 31st, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Senior Illustration student usual day:

    8am: wake up
    9am: work
    1pm: get off work, have lunch, go to the studio and do some homework
    4pm: class (dinner at about 6)
    10pm: get out of class
    depending on how much work I have to do, bed time is between 2 and 4am during normal semester time, and during finals I just sleep when finals are over unless I cannot function at all

    sometimes if I have time I’ll squeeze in a trip to the gym or something

    graduating this may woooooooo

  14. 14
    March 31st, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Thanks for all the comments and questions guys!

    Hey M,
    Each art school has a slightly different application process when it comes to the essays and some require specific challenge art pieces such as RISD and Parsons. All of them require a portfolio for BFA (Bachelor of Fine Art) majors.

    To apply for Parsons you need to fill out an online application form (similar to any other college) and write an artist statement taking about what you enjoy making and your goals after college. Additionally you have to submit a portfolio, transcript, SAT/ACT or TOEFL/IELTS results, and the Parsons Challenge. The Parsons Challenge requires one to “explore something overlooked within your daily environment. Choose one object, location, or activity,” through three works of art using any medium accompanied by mini essays which explain each piece. Letters of recommendation are optional.
    Here’s more detail if you are interested:
    Each art school has the specifics about their applications on their website.

    Thanks, I’ll make sure to write some articles about that!

    Glad you’re liking foundation year! It definitely helps prepare you for fashion/ the specific majors!

    Haha, so true. It’s quite challenging to minimize late nights/ estimate how long assignments will take.

    Most BFA fashion majors do need some art experience since the application process requires a portfolio. However, the portfolio can consist of any type of art (for example photography/ 3d work). Additionally, some art colleges use the freshman year as a foundation year to further develop drawing, 2d, and 3d skills. I would recommend having some art experience (at least a year/ a couple of classes/ a summer intensive program) since it would be more challenging to keep up with the other students who do if you do not know how to draw.

    Some fashion related majors which are not required to illustrate are fashion communications, fashion marketing/ merchandising, majors.

    It’s so interesting to see your schedule. I find science fascinating so your toxicology class sounds like a lot of fun! I’m jealous!
    It’s good to see another major used to the sleep deprivation! I am impressed by your ability to manage night shifts and 3 hours of sleep on a daily basis! Your schedule definitely inspires me to keep working hard!

    It’s extremely hard to get all the work done well without sacrificing some sleep. I do not mind since the resulting products/ garments make it worth it, plus I was never a big fan of sleep (more than 8 hours often makes me feel groggy and I don’t like napping). Sometimes I allow myself to sleep more (6-8 hours) especially on the weekends so I can prepare for the busy weekdays. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!
    Yes, most of the time I have classes at 7pm so I try to eat dinner beforehand. For my six hour class on Tuesday which starts at 3:50, we have a dinner beak betwen

    Thank you! I am used to the exhaustion now that it doesn’t even bother me especially since I’m doing what I love! :D You’re major isn’t boring! I’m jealous too, you live in Greece!

    Thank you, I’ll definitely write an article either about my midterm/ final assignments :]!


    Haha it is pretty busy, sometimes I wish I had more free time!

    Nice schedule! I’m trying to get my schedule back to sleeping and waking up early, which might be easier with daylight savings.
    What type of dance do you do?

  15. 15
    March 31st, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    haha so true about the finals, especially senior year.
    Congrats! One/ one and a half more months to go!

  16. 16
    March 31st, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Another fashion major which doesn’t require drawing would be fashion styling.

  17. 17
    March 31st, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Sorry I meant Sky

  18. 18
    March 31st, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Due to some complications I had to take a double year in highschool (I had the 11th and 12th grades during the same year) and it taught me A LOT about time management. I had classes from 8a.m to 6 pm everyday. I’m currently in college, second year, majoring in engineering and I seem to have more time than ever before, running two blogs, taking italian and chinese lessons and occasionally tutoring.

    I’m no one to talk but it seems to me that your ideal place to “win back” time is in the morning. Do you choose your outfis the night before? Shower the night before? Get your purse ready to go? These things take less time in the night than when “running” in the morning. I also keep a log of fall-back outfits on polyvore for when needed.

    Trim down your make-up routine to the barest and fastest essentials. I mix foundation and moisturizer in my hands, spread it and go! If you’ve gotten things ready at night, it should take more than half an hour from getting up to going out the door!

    You’re already doing well in doing stuff during your commute. I like to use the commute back home to study while the contents are fresh or getting a head start on work.
    To me, 7 to 8 hours of sleep are ideal. To make sleep more productive, I abide by hours (no exeptions, not even during finals) and keep all electronics away, in a completely dark room. Tidy things at night before going to bed and maybe take five minutes to outline what you’ll do tomorrow, scheduling breaks and fun!

    Last bit: In Portugal, dinner is usually from 8 to 10 pm, it’s customary to snack between 4 or 6, classes usually have a fifteen minute break so you can grab a bite. That maybe why I find odd when weightloss tips say no eating after 6, or after dinner. When you dine at 9, why should you eat again before bed?

    For any questions or more tips, click my name! :)

  19. 19
    April 1st, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Hi! I LOVED this article. I always feel like I’m doing so much compared to my roomates, but I love to see that others are working so much harder than me!
    I’m a double major in Marketing and Human Resources.
    This is my typical Monday/W/Friday Schedule.
    8:15 Wake up and Get Ready- I am a sleep-aholic. I sleep in as much as I can!
    8:45 Drink a Green Juice and Walk to class
    9-11 Classes! Most of my classes are back to back!
    12-1 Lunch and Homework Break
    1-3 Classes. I am taking 18 hours this semester.
    3-5 Work and Learn. I work in the Student Mailroom and since its not very busy at some points, this is my homework/Netflix time! I love my TV marathons (Gossip Girl especially!)
    5-6 Gym Time. This is my stress reliever and I cannot make it through the day without exercise!
    6-6:30 Dinner
    6:30-8 Homework
    8-11 I always have something to do during this time, but it changes. I have sorority meetings, church, or writing my blog!
    11-1 am Homework
    1 am Bed Finally!

  20. 20
    October 19th, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Hi Whitney, I see you’re a fashion student in parsons. Is it hard to get into there? I’m a chinese student from Malaysia,17 years old, and next year will be my last year in high school. I plan to take the fashion design course in Parsons(2015) because I have seen so many successful people out of it. I’m really passionate about fashion but seems like I don’t have the skills to draw. I’m really bad at drawing, do you think I can join Parsons? What do you think I should do?Oh and what do you think about Fashion Institute nyc?

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