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NYU Application Essay - Why NYU?


December 2013



If you, like most people who have asked me about my accident, wonder why I claim that being totally bonked by a Mazda was “very cool,” allow me to explain with a short story by David Foster Wallace. “There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet a much older fish swimming the other way who nods at them and says, ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and eventually one looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the HELL is water?’”


Despite how banal this may seem on the surface, as most short didacticisms do, Wallace uses it to humor a very simple but very powerful truth: we are not born to be critically aware. Awareness of oneself and of others is a learnt skill, which is why I am so passionate about psychology - so I can learn to be aware. Mind you, I did not discover my passion as I became concussed or anything. My brain did not jump of its cerebral fluid and shout “I see the Light!” Well, actually, I did see lots of light, but it hurt. Upon waking up, I hear in the very distance a kid shouting, “Dude, check it out! Someone got hit by a car! (so much for awareness of others)


My passion for psychology was actually realized much earlier in life. But losing my memory contributed to my passion, by forcing me to focus on and regain something that most people have and take for granted. I was, and always have been, inside my own head. What the HELL goes on in there? This has been my life so far: my demand to be aware.


This leads me to apply to the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development as an applied psychology major and a studio art minor.


Growing up thirty minutes from Manhattan and making frequent visits on weekends meant I grew emotionally attached to the City. Central Park’s vibrant autumn foliage, Chinatown’s dim sum, Soho’s colorful architecture, Time Square’s night lights, Broadway Dance Center, Wall Street... these elements for the niche where I want to further my varying academic and cultural interests. I look forward to studying and living in the heterogeneous environment of the main NYU campus.


I feel Steinhardt’s applied psychology program would suit me better than the natural science emphasis under the College of Arts and Sciences. I appreciate that Steinhardt’s program entails a more therapeutically and spiritually oriented approach to psychology rather than biological. Moreover, I always had a fascination with philosophy and theories of personality, something I would be able to integrate into my studies.


My passion for art also leads me to an interest in a studio art minor. And while at NYU, I hope to go abroad to Accra, Ghana or Paris, France, particularly the former. As an art student, I would love to study in one of these two cities, while continuing to take applied psychology courses.


NYU is my water.


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