So, I’ve made analogies to The Hunger Games or Game of Thrones when describing the fashion industry to friends. You win or you die! May the odds be ever in your favor! But, really, it’s been in jest. I truly think that every career path has the potential to be competitive: academia (getting on tenure track!), law (partner track!), medicine, retail, film, really anything. What it is, I think, is that the fashion industry can attract people who, er, have a flair for the dramatic (and understandably so—it’s often their daily job to dream up larger than life stories or images). The fashion industry gets a bad rap; I almost think people want life to resemble the magazines depicted in movies or television (which, ultimately, are works of fiction. They’re not documentaries, unless you’re talking about The September Issue, which I just think highlighted the next-level professionalism of Vogue staffers). To be honest, in my decade of working in the magazine industry, the kind, considerate, helpful (so, so many have been helpful along the way) people have far outweighed the catty, witchy, or cutthroat. So my advice to you: the best thing you can do, whatever career you’re interested in pursuing, is to maintain your sense of self and be the best version of yourself no matter what. If you feel yourself changing or find yourself surrounded by people you fundamentally don’t agree with, it’s time to course-correct.