Nyu College Essay Prompts

College Essay Example Five from an accepted NYU Student

I stared at the reflection of myself on the glass window for what seemed over fifteen minutes, and all that I saw was a face filled with disbelief and frustration. There I was, standing on the corner of 35th and 5th Avenue in freezing cold weather completely mortified, feeling as if all the luminous lights of New York City were shining on me in the spotlight of shame. I had committed one of the age-old sins of driving: a sheer rookie mistake. I had locked my car keys inside my trunk.

To explain myself, I should start by saying that ever since I first sat shotgun in my uncle’s 1997 Green Honda Civic, I have always yearned to drive a car. As the years progressed I went from practicing driving with a Fisher Price Jeep 4x4 around my block to handling a Nissan Maxima down I-95. In each instance, the rushing of adrenaline feeling that I savored from driving was mutual and can only be described by Andrew Malcolm’s quote,  “a driver is a king on a vinyl bucket-seat throne, changing direction with the turn of a wheel, changing the climate with a flick of a button, changing the music with the switch of a dial.” But on that Manhattan corner, I was a dethroned king thrown from his kingdom because of his foolishness.

After gawking at my car to know avail, I went through a list of possibilities to successfully retrieve my keys. I sat down on the hood of my car and contemplated on the idea of breaking the window and hot-wiring the car. Such an option just wasn’t viable enough. However, after scrolling through the internet on my phone, I came across a page on Google search, that led to a link to a Yahoo answers page which suggested that I call a locksmith. However, after I read the price quote, that suggestion was no longer feasible: what could they possibly do that would cost me $205? That inquisition led to my next brilliant idea, and so for the next fifteen minutes, I explored the wonders of YouTube and continuously watched videos of locksmiths popping open car doors; the ambitious side of me thought, “I can definitely do this.”

With a little improvisation, I meticulously concocted a solution to my problem. For supplies, I rummaged through a nearby tourist gift shop and bought two “I heart NY” soccer balls, a hanger, and borrowed a ball pump. I took the soccer balls and wedged them in between the crack that I was able to make from pulling the door. With that, I began to inflate the soccer balls. The entire thing could have been a scene from “Gone in Sixty Seconds.” To my pleasant surprise, it was working! The inflation of the soccer balls created a small gap in the crack that allowed me to tick the hanger inside and unlock the door. The car alarm blared, but never was such a sound so soothing. I climbed into the back seat and folded the seats down to unveil the small entry into the trunk. I placed my feet on the dashboard and squeezed my way through the hole. With my right hand I reached out and immediately I felt mesh cloth, quickly realizing that it was my basketball jersey. I reached further and my fingers came upon cold metal, evoking a feeling of relief.

 

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These College Application Essays Got Us Into NYU

ByMary-Catherine Rowe Harvey

The early decision deadline for many colleges (NYU included) passed over Halloweekend. I don’t doubt that many stressed college hopefuls’ weekends were ruined. My younger sister became a victim to such an occurrence and sent me her essay to proofread. Reading her essay inspired me to dig out my own application from what feels like a lifetime ago. I haven’t been able to fathom the strength to reread what I wrote since then. There is something so intensely embarrassing about college essays. The prompts are vague, so applicants tend to transform awkward anecdotes into 500 words of clunky metaphors and overly-wrought emotions. They’re humiliating windows into our souls — essentially the written equivalent of the dream of showing up naked we all had in high school.

I’ve compiled a few of our fellow NYU students’ recollections of their own essay topics — including some from members of NYU Local’s own staff — for your enjoyment. They range from the awesomely awful to downright cringeworthy. (One person refused to share his essay topic, saying, “I would rather not give you more ammunition to mock me with.”)

“I wrote about how I hate being patronized and how it had implications in society as a whole. And how adults were dumb.”

“It was a thinly-veiled metaphor in which I described watching my baby sister climb a rock wall for the first time. I talked about her bravery in fighting toward the unknown, and how I aspired to be like her: strong, goal-oriented, taking risks while the rest of my peers were content to watch from the safety of the ground. After getting accepted to NYU, I immediately lost the essay, partially to prevent her from finding it and reading about how goddamn special she is to me.” — Kelly Weill, Editor-in-Chief

“The relationship between beauty and cheese pizza.” — Cassidy George, Gallatin sophomore

“I wrote about this Cafe in Mumbai (Cafe Madras) that’s so crowded and popular, you sit where they tell you and rarely if ever get to sit with everybody you came with. I talked about how it brings people from all walks of life together, from businessman to laborer. Everyone’s there to eat their amazing South Indian food and that unites everyone who is divided by socioeconomic borders. Oh, and it makes great coffee. I’m not sure where I was trying to go with that…” — Freia Lobo, National

“I wrote about liking Banksy…I recant everything I said in that essay.” — Kyla Bills, Entertainment

“I wrote my Common App my essay on how I got mugged walking to a PSAT prep class in my hometown. Basically I just described the walk, the (brief) fight, and then what the whole thing did to my feelings about music, because I had my earbuds in the entire time as this kid tackled me. So basically I got jumped to a soundtrack. I even remember the specific song that was playing: “I’m Good” by Lil Wayne (Definitely not oblivious to that irony). Anyway, I may have had my face bloodied and arm broken and the kid may have gotten my beat-up iPod Nano, but I got into NYU, so who is the real winner here?” — Peter Slattery, Entertainment

“World Cup 2010: USA vs. England and the importance of not being indifferent.” — Andrew Harvey, Gallatin senior

“I wrote about how I was considering a career in fashion, but didn’t want to be a snobby fashion stereotype like the rest of the girls at NYU. Insulting a school’s student body — an excellent way to win the admissions officers’ hearts!” — Hannah Orenstein, Entertainment Editor

“I wrote about an ex-boyfriend. Yeah. I’m surprised I got in, too.” — Christina Li, Photo Editor

In fairness, my own application concluded with, “I know now I have to authenticate my thoughts and that will inevitably authenticate me as a person.” It pains me to think I thought these words should be strung together in a sentence. The fact that someone read that and was like, “Yes, you should definitely come to this exclusive institution” is shocking to me. I like to think that there is an annual competition between the college’s admission reps as to whose essay was the most cringeworthy read and that applicant (no matter the eligibility) is given a spot at NYU. That might explain how some of us ended up here…

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