Columbia University – An Official Essay


Topic — Please tell us what you find most appealing about Columbia and why

Tucked away in quiet Morningside Heights is a little green haven I would like to call home for the next four years: Columbia University. Since my junior year tour, I have had a love affair with the institution, especially for its world-class academics. The Core Curriculum, the most celebrated aspect of the Columbia experience, provides the best mechanism to produce a diverse, well-rounded individual. And the ability to explore multiple disciplines in courses like “Frontiers of Science” and “Art Humanities” — even if they do not pertain to my major — is immensely appealing.

Another course I am eagerly anticipating is “Literature Humanities” – which typifies Columbia’s celebration of the art of literature. As an avid reader myself, I realize that at Columbia I would have the opportunity to not merely read some of history’s Great Books — Don Quixote, The Illiad, and more — but to engage in the incredible experience of discussing these revolutionary texts with a like-minded student community.


One of my prospective majors is “French and Francophone Studies,” and I believe that there is no better place to hone my language skills than Columbia University — a microcosm of the world! Columbia’s student body is bursting with international flavor, making it an extra special place to study a language. With Columbia’s emphasis on studying abroad, I would even have the option to perfect my skills at legendary French institutions, including the Sciences-Po or the Sorbonne — or on campus in unique courses like “Poesie Francophone D’Afrique.” And outside Columbia’s urban campus, the opportunities for French cultural interaction are endless at lectures, film screenings, and exhibitions at La Maison Française or the Alliance Française.


With Columbia University’s focus on structured learning, I know that I would graduate as an insightful, well-versed individual, equipped for life’s challenges. Columbia is truly an otherworldly institution, and I would be delighted to call it home for the next four plus years!

The Search for the Perfect College

There is a myth that senior year is supposed to be fun, relaxing, enjoyable, and carefree. Well, that myth that needs to be demystified. So far, senior year has equated to nothing but stress, agitation, piles of homework, sleep deprivation, and most importantly, an endless series of college applications. Senior year, for me, has been full of fear and worry about college. I fear rejection and failure, although I know I’ll end up somewhere I like.

Part of the reason I’m stressed is because I’m taking a whopping five AP courses. AP Biology, AP French, AP Microeconomics, AP English Literature, and AP Calculus AB. AP French is my favorite, and I have officially chosen French as my college major. There’s nothing quite as engrossing as learning a second language. AP English has been light and enjoyable, as I have always loved reading. AP Calc is difficult, and I have to study for it more than any of my other AP courses. But thankfully, I have a great grade in the class. I’m lost in AP Microeconomics. It’s pretty much all mathematics, and I had no idea that’s what I was signing up for. And then there’s AP Biology, the bane of my existence. I came into that class wanting to be a Biology major, and now, I have emerged as a French major. Quite a different path. This year, I have come to the realization that I do not like the sciences. Before, I wasn’t too sure, but now having studied biology in-depth in this course, I definitely do not like science. If I’m going to study one subject for the next four years, it better be something that I love.

Speaking of college, I have been working nonstop on my college applications since August 1st, the same day that the new Common Application was released. I rewrote my Common App essay two times, and even some of my writing supplements. I applied early decision to Columbia University (where I have been wanting to attend for several years) and every day, I am plagued with thoughts that I should just withdraw my application. Every day, I wonder if my essays could just be a little tighter, my SAT score a little higher. But I know Columbia University is my first choice of college, and I should just go for it. Columbia is a dream come true.

I’ve also planned on applying to Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania. Too much choice. In addition, I will apply to Hunter College in NYC, CUNY Macaulay Honors program, New York University, University of Connecticut Fordham University, Drexel, UC Berkeley, and Stanford. I know I have way too many colleges on this list, but the thing is, some of the essays topics overlap, and I need to make sure I have enough safety options.

I quite like my Common Application. I’m extremely happy with the extracurriculars I’ve pursued, and I think that they highlight my passion for writing, journalism, dance, and health. I am slightly dissatisfied with my SAT score, but I can retake it in December (and the ACT too). I was torn between two main essay topics, but I think I went with one that was a little more touching and personal. I have completed many of my writing supplements, but not most. I still have a little more to go.

I’ll make sure to keep you updated on my college search. I’m going to hear back from Columbia on December 15, and I am praying for a positive result. Hopefully, you will be able to find me on 116th and Broadway real soon….


On a super random note, I would like to tell you how I destress. I love listening to music, and right now, my favorite musical acts are Pearls Negras (an all-girls rap trio from Brazil), F(x) (a Korean girl group), Beach Day, and Kiesza. I beg you to listen to them all!