Everyone has that obsession that appears in our nightmares and makes us cry for a month. Mine is called New York University. During my application process, I woke up once from a nightmare where I mistakenly sent my NYU application before I completed it. I used to open my window and cry for the universe, ”Please, make NYU accept me.”
I anxiously counted the days until March 30th, when I finally got my decision.
NYU has two unique programs: Global Liberal Studies (GLS) and Liberal Studies (LS). The latter two-year program delves into art, history and philosophy from antiquity to modernity; after their two years with LS, students transfer to any major. I knew I wanted to change my major, so this program seemed perfect. However, I heard an infamous claim that applying as an undecided student damages your application, so I declared art history as my course of interest and left my feelings towards the LS program out of my Why NYU essay.
Instead, when talking about classes I wanted to take, I chose one from their regular core curriculum. Despite this not-so-true part, I felt the admission officers would see in my essay that I did my research and that NYU was my first-choice university. Maybe I was wrong.
On March 30th, I opened my NYU portal and discovered that I had been waitlisted.
I knew that my dream was dead. I told myself I was a big failure and cried whenever I remembered it. Although NYU does not accept appeal letters, they offer a Waitlist Continued Interest form where you can write about your interest in any of their colleges and programs. I wrote how I was also highly interested in their Liberal Studies Program, which I believed was the ideal program for me.
Then, on May 9th, while I was on my desk wondering about my potential future with NYU, I heard the email notification sound from my phone and ran to read it. ”Congratulations on your admission to Liberal Studies at New York…” said the first line. I stopped for a few seconds in front of the screen, checking what I had just read. My body trembled with happiness, and I instantly told the news to my parents and professors.
I never believed in waitlists, so I looked for answers on why I was one of the lucky ones.
I read some articles about how waitlists will be more flexible during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the monetary losses, and I highly believe this influenced my admission. However, I have friends that received waitlist notices from NYU this year and did not get out of it. Then, I could not stop remembering that I did not state in my essay that LS was my first-choice program, but stated it on my Waitlist Continued Interest form.
Although I checked ”yes” when the NYU Common Application asked if I would like to be considered for the LS Program, if I was not admitted to my initial major, the admission officers could not know that the program was my first choice. What if the students who passed in front of me applied directly to LS? Would I have been admitted through the regular list if I had applied directly to the program?
I will never know the answers to these questions, but what I now know for sure is that by not being our true selves, we may not achieve our dreams. Now, I am a Liberal Studies student at NYU.