get-the-memo asked: I understand that NYU receives plenty of applications but is extremely selective. Do you have general advice on how to make yourself look better on paper to kind of set yourself apart from the pack?
I can really only repeat and emphasize what I and other places have said in regards to advice on applications, but I will offer my thoughts regardless. There’s really only so much you can do to show how good of a student you are on a college application, so I really suggest showing who you are as a person as well. Don’t join an extracurricular activity in your senior year of high school just because you haven’t done anything up until that point, but participate in things that you enjoy and have a passion for. I’ve met people who have been super involved in a lot of different kinds of projects simply because they loved those projects and while, yes, volunteer work and creating an organization looked good on their applications, they were also very passionate about what they did. I find it easier to talk about how something affected me if I loved being a part of that thing. It might not even be a group but something that you do on your own; never discount anything you do. If you spend hours every day reading, writing, designing, anything really, use that to describe yourself and your goals. Everything you do makes you unique and nothing is insignificant, it’s all in how you use it.
That got a bit rambly, but, ultimately, what I’m trying to say is to use your own passions, characteristics, and doings to set you apart because while your SAT score and GPA are just numbers, you can really show yourself in what you’ve done and I think that’s more important than one more extracurricular activity. I hope this answered your question!