Monday, June 10, 2019

Life Lately: Second Semester of Grad School in NYC Recap

Dumbo, Brooklyn
My second semester of grad school officially wrapped up around May 20th. I can't believe I completed an entire year of my grad program, and I only have one semester left in the fall until I receive my master's in journalism! This was a loooong semester and I'm so grateful to finally be done with it. I thought my first semester was stressful, but boy was I wrong. I don't think I slept more than three hours per night for the duration of the semester. The classes and professors I took for the past few months challenged me in ways I didn't know possible but at the end of the day I'm thankful for everything I learned and all of the people I had the opportunity to work with.

I also recently started a YouTube channel and my first video is an NYC week in my life. I would love it if you check it out and subscribe! I plan to do a lot of fashion and NYC content because I work in the magazine industry as a fashion writer and spend all of my time in the city so if that interests you, do stick around!

My Courses 

West Village
I was enrolled in four courses during this past semester. I took a required Craft II writing and reporting class, which is a continuation of the Craft I course I took during my first semester. I'm in the writing concentration because my dream is to work for a fashion magazine full-time after graduating. My class worked on enterprise stories all semester which are longer-form pieces that relate to a broader audience and not just New York City. We also did a semester-long class project that was the pain of my existence if I'm being completely honest. We focused on alternative medicine, and it was interesting to learn about even if it's not my particular interest but it was very stressful trying to coordinate with other students in the class and to set up interviews with the organizations and professionals I needed to interview. I also took feature writing class because that's the style writing most magazines do. I wrote three long-form pieces of about 1,000 words or more per story. I did all fashion and beauty related stories because fashion is the beat I'm studying and what I'm the most passionate about. I wrote about how young fashion designers are making it in the city, what visual merchandisers do and how natural hair advocates in the black community are using YouTube to spread awareness. My third class was cultural issues, which is the first class in my arts and culture reporting concentration. We discussed different issues and topics in the entertainment, art and fashion industries. We also led weekly discussions based on the news relating to arts and culture that happened that week. I also wrote three stories in this class as well relating to fashion. I wrote about the NYC ban on hair discrimination, how much fashion students are paying to study fashion and a profile story on freelance writer/fashion blogger Austen Tosone (who you probably know if you read fashion publications or follow influencers on social media). My fourth class was photojournalism. I absolutely love taking photos, and this class made me realize that I needed to improve my skills. I got to rent a Canon 60D camera for the entire semester and use it for class and other news events I covered. All in all it was extremely stressful taking three writing courses that required long-form stories but I survived somehow.

Places I Went/Things I Did

At Ann Taylor
New York Fashion Week 
NYFW plays a huge role in my personal life and in my career. I've always loved keeping up with fashion weeks and reading/watching all the different media coverage that comes out about each show. Last year I had the pleasure of attending my first NYFW event and I attended two more this past semester. First, I attended a blogger event held at Ann Taylor with my blogger friends Kayla and Hayleigh. I'll be honest with you. The event wasn't that great but it was a lot of fun to meet up with my friends and hang out in the city. I also attended another event for one of the Asian clothing brands at Chelsea Piers NYFW, but I don't have any photos from the event to include, unfortunately.

Dumbo, Brooklyn
My friend Vanessa and I were in the same photojournalism class this semester, and we really enjoyed taking photos together for class. We went all over Manhattan, and I got to visit a bunch of new spots like the Flat Iron Building, Pietro Nolita, Washington Square Park, Tribeca and more! We also went to Dumbo in Brooklyn one day because I haven't been there since my freshman year of college.

Quinoa bowl at Citizens of Chelsea
I also tried a bunch of new restaurants this semester that I really enjoyed. My favorite spot is Mexicue because they have the best burritos! My friends and I went there pretty much every week after class and it was so much fun. We also went to Bourbon BBQ and Chopt, a salad place that I'm obsessed with. You can build your own salad similar to a Chipotle. And I went to Citizens of Chelsea for the first time. I got a quinoa bowl with avocado, and it was delicious. It's a cute restaurant located in Chelsea that I definitely recommend checking out.

The Vessel
The Vessel
By now I'm sure you've seen all the photos of the Vessel located at Hudson Yards, but it's so cool. I visited right when it opened and I was amazed at its size and all the stores located in the shopping mall. It's such a fun place to visit if you're coming to the city for a trip one day and a great photo opportunity!

Elizabeth Street Garden
Elizabeth Street Garden
I wrote my second article on this cute sculpture garden located on Prince and Elizabeth streets. If you're unfamiliar with this garden, it's at risk of being demolished for an affordable apartment complex. I covered the SoHo/Little Italy neighborhood last semester for one of my classes so I focused a lot of my stories from this past semester in this area too.

Botanical Gardens
Bronx Botanical Gardens
I visited the Botanical Gardens in April for the first time since I was a little girl. My family has taken day trips here before and I always enjoyed coming. My friends and I took a lot of photos inside the greenhouse and by the cherry blossoms when they were at their height during spring. This is one of the best spots to visit if you want a little escape from Manhattan's craziness because it doesn't really feel like the city and you can relax with nature.

Long Island City
Long Island City
I also went to Queens for the first time this semester. As I mentioned up above, I profiled Austen Tosone for an article I wrote for my Cultural Issues class because I covered the fashion beat. I visited her at a cute coffee shop in Long Island City near where she lives. It's such a cute little area! I loved walking down by the waterfront, and I plan on doing a photo shoot here in the near future.

The Highline
Summer Plans
This is going to be my craziest summer ever. I'm working for a fashion magazine in the city and I'm loving it so far. I work on the editorial team and right now we're prepping our summer issue for release. It's been a dream of mine to work for a magazine in the city since I was in high school so it's incredible to see my dream become a reality. Most of my time is going to be spent working at the magazine but I still have other things to do this summer too. I will be talking about my new job very soon and give you a rundown of what I do as soon as I do the coordinating photo shoot to make my announcement. I have something very extra planned in typical Nicolette fashion. I'm also working my retail job on weekends for extra money. Life in the city is expensive, and my goal is to live here in the near future. I'm working as much as I can to give myself the life I want and to be able to afford fun activities and shopping sprees too. This job is really easy and close to where I live so it's not a problem to work here two days a week. Then I have to do research for my grad school capstone project. As part of my school requirements, everyone in the program has to do an extensive research project due at the end of the semester in December. I've only just started working on it, but I can tell it's going to be a lot. My topic will be fashion-centered because I'm continuing the fashion beat so I'm excited to see where it takes me even though I'd rather not do this project.

SoHo, Manhattan
Future Plans
I have one semester of grad school left in the fall before I graduate. As surreal as that sounds, I'm ready to move on. I've learned a lot in my time here but I'm ready to work and pursue my interests. I plan to continue working for magazines after graduation and cover the fashion beat if possible. I have a few publications in mind that I'd love to work for but we'll just have to see what the future brings. I'd also like to spend more time on my hobbies like blogging (obviously) and running. I was a long-distance runner in high school and I miss how much I used to run each week.

Thanks so much for reading!

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