Reflections on my first week

With the submission of my final homework assignment, my first week at ITP has come to an end. Wow! I have so many feelings about it. I’m super excited about everything that I’m going to learn. I’m super intimidated by all the talent that is around me.

I come from a background in product marketing in San Francisco. The San Francisco dream promises that if you work hard and you’re savvy, you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg! More realistically though, if you get in early with a growing company and you’re social and hard working, you’ll do well. In that sense, I’ve definitely experienced some success and established a foundation in that dream.

After my first week at ITP though, I could not feel farther from established. New York City has so many different dreams, and the ITP dream is just one sliver of it. I remember sitting at orientation, listening to all of my fellow classmates share their background. Designers, studio artists, filmmakers, coders, creatives galore!

My face
                                                                  My face

Here’s a rundown of some quick thoughts from my first week:

  • It’s only been the first week, but I love all of my classes, and I love what these classes are making me think about. “How would I create that?” “What is this design trying to achieve?” “What would make this project fun for me and the audience?”
  • Imposter syndrome is hitting hard. But I take comfort knowing that all ITP students, in some way or another, feel the same way. I’ve definitely experienced some doubts on whether I can become an expert on anything, since I don’t know much about the things I’m learning. But I’m definitely grateful to be here. It’s the perfect place to learn what I want to learn. Taking a look at some of the portfolios of second year students, I’m blown away by how far they’ve come. If I work hard and take this opportunity seriously, I too will achieve this progress. I’ll try not to get too down on my doubts and just have fun with it.
  • Throughout my first week, the focus to make projects that “look cool” and “inspire delight/fun” popped up time and again. In marketing, even in an industry as relaxed as tech, there is a sense to take yourself seriously. Everything anyone does must have a practical application in order to have any value in this world. Unlearning this will probably be the hardest thing that I do.
  • As fun as this week has been, it’s been equally overwhelming. A new city, new people, new friends, a new school. I left a lot of people I love behind, and although a lot of my SF life bothered me, SF itself is a beautiful place and will always hold a special place in my heart. I was in a bit of a catatonic state in my first week, and I had to wake up out of that real quickly. ITP is going to be fast-paced and a lot of work. I’m going to be challenged in a way that I’ve never been before. I need the self-confidence to realize that I can handle it all. It will be tough, but if I put in the time and have the right attitude, I can do it. God… I can’t imagine how all of these international students are handling things. Bravo to them all.

For my second week, I want to focus on:

  • getting my house in order. That includes furniture and food!
  • getting exercise back into my routine.
  • honing my work routine better. That includes dedicating time to hanging out at ITP and soaking it all in.