As new college freshmen prepare to move into their new respective dorms – the panic of college will eventually set in. But here at Parsons, it’s the unease surrounding Foundation Year, not the terror of books and mid-term papers. So before having a total freak out, like I totally did, here are some tips from a Parsons Foundation survivor.
Tip 1: Never go with the pack: Sometimes it’s hard not to peak over someone else’s shoulder and see what they are doing (and what materials they are using). But don’t be influenced, always look at others work blindly, otherwise everyone’s projects will look the same – how utterly boring. So even though, that girl next to you is using blue funky plastic that she found at Canal Plastics, steer clear! Do something completely opposite!
Tip 2: Figure out where your classes are STAT: So, I don’t know if y’all know this but Parsons has a strict late and absent policy (If you are absent more than three times, you fail the class and if you are late twice it counts as an absence). So the rush to be on time is more important than ever, knowing where your classes are and what elevator to take can cut five minutes off your first day of class morning. Always be on time. Some teachers even lock the door after 10 minutes of class, so if you’re late you can’t come in. Don’t be scared though! Most professors do this to train you to be on time (artists are notoriously late for everything), so just bite the bullet and wake up 10 minutes earlier!
Tip 3: Keep a Schedule: The first week can be a real make or break for students since professors always like to start off with a bang. Don’t think you are just going to play ice breakers all day the first day of class, most of the time it will start off with some sort of project – meaning you will have homework! Keep a schedule and make notes of everything a professor may ask you to bring into class. You will have to remember a lot and may be running all over the city, so don’t rely on your teachers or fellow students to remind you what you need!
Tip 4: Pack a Snack: Almost your whole week of classes will be 9-3 or 12-6, that’s a six hour learning day! Most of the time the 15 minute class change is more of a race to get to your next class, not a time to go to the deli and buy a sandwich. Always pack a snack and a water bottle! Trader Joes has great individual packs of trail mix and nuts for cheap – I always just have one in my backpack, just in case!
Tip 5: Use the Parsons Portfolio Pack: Yes, when you get your foundation kit, you will get a Parsons hiker style portfolio backpack. And yes, you will look ridiculous carrying it around New York City. But don’t not use it because it looks like your backpacking around Europe for two months, you need to use it. This bag carries absolutely everything (literally I just moved and I still have my foundation backpack and fit everything I made for my senior thesis and at least 9 drawing pads), so put it on and give it a try. It’s also a Parsons Right of Passage – you’re not a true Parsons student until you’ve climbed up 8 flights of stairs with your Parsons Backpack because the elevator is mobbed and you have five minutes to get to class – oh and don’t forget while doing this you are carrying a very fragile 3D project.