The common notion is that a fashion school is mostly just fun and games. Attending one is somehow just not perceived as serious as it actually is. I mean, how can a school that’s centred around clothes, shoes and jewellery be anything serious, really? Or teach you anything about life? Only the ones who have had the opportunity to attend a fashion school will know that there is little to no truth to that. Yes, you will most definitely find a little bit of fun and glamour but trust me, a fashion school comes with its fair share of hardships and life lessons. Like every other field of study, fashion too is rigorous, 10 out of 10 times requires hard work, persistence, creativity and the ability to multitask. Also, did I mention, never-ending creativity?

It’s been exactly one year since I graduated after completing a four-year fashion course and as I look back at my college days, I realise, attending a fashion school left me with some pretty valuable life lessons. And this is my way of paying an ode to that beautiful journey of mine, letting you in on the life teachings. Here they go!

1. Saving up = winning at life

You’d think after pouring all your life’s savings into your fees, the expenditure would stop there. Let me just say, LOL! During the course of your study, you’ve got tons of stationery and other raw materials to stock up on because, well, they’re essential to a fashion course. Add to that the frequency of these purchases which on average can vary from 3-4 times a week. Then you’ve got internships that barely pay and internships are considered highly important while pursuing fashion and they also prove to be of much help once your time to adult arrives. Then once you’ve finished your course, you’d think, you’d end up with a lavish-paying job so you can finally start earning back the insane amount of money spent during your years of study, but well, you couldn’t be further away from reality! All this endless expenditure and super slow returns point towards one thing—saving is basically winning at life my friend!

2. Sleep as much as you can

Fashion and sleep rarely go hand-in-hand but that’s probably the case with most courses. But since I studied in a fashion college, I can say with conviction, your sleeping hours are going to get a kick in the gut. Since you’ve now enrolled yourself in a creative course, you’ve got to be creative almost all the time and no, that is not an easy job. Ever heard of burnout? But coming back to my point, the sheer volume of assignments, tight deadlines and the frequent creative blocks aren’t exactly the factors that contribute to a goodnight’s sleep. And because creativity is a freeway and nowhere factual, you’re going to face tons of rejections and redos that will keep you up most nights. Adulting is pretty much the same, no? Never-ending worries, tons of responsibilities and random rejections in life that often lead to multiple sleepless nights? Here’s what that taught me: snoozing, as often as you can, is definitely not losing!

3. Once you find your tribe, life just automatically becomes easier

In your former years of schooling, you mingle around with a vast and diverse group of people. And while that teaches you how to live life with non-like-minded people, a creative school, fashion in my case, will connect you with like-minded people and help you understand the importance of being surrounded by them. Important how? Call them your comfort zone if you want but these are the people that make it even easier for you to be your best and truest self in life! So the lesson here is, once you’ve found your tribe, cherish them hard!

4. It is always better to stand out than fit in

No, just because you’ve enrolled yourself in a fashion school doesn’t mean you need to follow every other trend that crops up. What attending a fashion school will instead teach you to do is stay true to your personal style. Something that speaks to you and is a representation of who you are. This is a crucial life lesson because it teaches you the importance of being comfortable with yourself and your choices. The more you stand out, the more irreplaceable you become! In life, we’re all, in some ways, looking to leave behind a mark, a unique mark, and blending-in is an unlikely way to achieve that.

5. Research will take you to great places

Research is to fashion what nutrition is to your body. Without it, you’re going nowhere in life. But what people fail to realise is that research, even in fashion studies, is as extensive as it can get. Sometimes, your out-of-the-box creativity won’t be well-received unless it’s backed by some form of proof or practicality. Finding that kind of reasoning when it comes to creativity is not an easy task but having good research skills makes the job relatively easier. Your research skills will also prove to be of great help in landing jobs, so my point basically is that doing your research is important in most areas of life. Because had my numerous projects and multiple rejections not given me the research skills that I possess, I wouldn’t be able to write this today or even find ways to get the vaccine! You know what I’m saying?

6. You are your best mentor

One of the greatest things about fashion schools is how independent they make you. Unlike non-creative courses that are factual and objective in nature, creative courses aren’t. They’re mostly subjective. So, many times, you’re going to have to figure your own way out because not always are your mentors going to be able to understand your POV and help you with your projects. But since you need to submit that assignment anyway, what option do you have other than to mentor yourself? The same idea applies to dealing with problems in your life as well wherein not always will you have someone to guide you. In such cases, you will have to play the role of a guardian and of a best friend to yourself.

Looking back, it’s safe to say, I’ve had a fulfilling experience attending a fashion school! Have you also attended one? What has your experience been like? Tell me in the comments below.

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