I was drawn to New York initially because of all of the opportunities the city offers through its academics, global networks, and career opportunities. I often heard my peers discussing their future plans with adamant certainty and saw them applying to specialized programs with a vision they claimed to have held since they were children. I, on the other hand, was unsure of what my future held, and I embraced this uncertainty.
My father is an alumnus of NYU, which is why I first looked into the colleges within the city. Growing up, I was engrossed by the stories he told about professors he loved, interesting and brilliant people he met, and niche places in the city he would always associate with his time at NYU. There was a common denominator to all these stories: adventure, freedom, and rigorous academic exploration.
As a result, New York City felt like somewhere I belonged. Coming from one of the most diverse high schools in the country, I greatly appreciate the experience of multiculturalism. It has undoubtedly helped me understand myself and propelled my interest in internationally-geared learning. Although I did not have a preconceived notion of my "perfect school", the NYC experience had all the elements important to my personal and academic growth.
This does not mean that I was directionless. I had a clear vision of the kind of person I wanted to be: an expert in my field, prepared, and worldly. I knew NYC, with the possibility of connections in the city as well as all corners of the world, would give me the tools and experience to take advantage of all higher education has to offer.