The Common App essay that got me into NYU

Hey guys. I had applied to NYU via the Early Decision cycle in November 2018. I did get in and that too with a fine amount of scholarship. So, I am showing my common app essay for your reference. Please don’t copy it, your essay tells about your personal story and the admissions officers are smart enough to judge if an essay relates to you or not by reading the other details that you provided on your application.

The prompt that I selected:

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

My answer: 

Boom! Bam! Wham! Those are the sounds a kid playing video games is constantly subjected to. I too used to play them as a kid. Always excited by the vibrant dancing pixels, I developed a deep love for video games from childhood. Playing them solo or with friends, I could experience diverse emotions. I remained absorbed in relishing all the games that I played. But unknown to me, fate wanted me to be on the other side of the coin.

In my preteens, I stumbled upon game development and my joy held no bounds. The idea of myself crafting unique interactive experiences to share with people was stunning. Captivated by the possibilities, I dived into the world of coding and thus began my foray into computer science. An endless devotion to learning began. Gulping down information from the Internet, brainstorming in the washroom, stacking papers full of ideas are few of the habits that I picked up. There was so much to learn that sometimes I was baffled about which track to follow. The lack of a mentor resulted in my slow progress and I had to resort to experimentation to learn things. But on the plus side, it shaped me as an independent learner and a self-driven individual. Rushing to my art teacher’s room whenever I got free time was one activity that helped me hone my artistic abilities. An intersection of design and programming, game development called for various skills. I learned to fit myself into various roles, such as a programmer, level designer and a story writer. These multiple facets have helped me to develop my creative side. Years passed by and I explored different areas of computer science. From making quiz software to designing websites, I gained significant proficiency in varying fields. I remember clinging onto my mother’s chair, waiting for her to finish her work so that I could then work on her laptop. Be it using age-old tech or receiving constant scoldings at home, I have not let any problems or failures of any magnitude impede my progress. I see limitations as a source of inspiration to try new combinations. Sharing and learning with friends and juniors has been instrumental to my growth. Talking endlessly about video games with my gamer friends has never tired me. Visiting tech meetups and interacting with seniors and professionals seemed daunting at first but the warmth of the community towards a newcomer like me was pretty encouraging. I discovered the phenomenal rate of growth that happens when you actively learn while being part of a community. Supported by my environment, every day I learn and build upon my ideas.

My efforts brought me to a milestone when in the senior years of my high school I was able to launch my games. And when I finally did it, I was filled with great exuberance. Success was validated by the smiles I saw on friends’ faces when they played my games and the positive comments that they dropped. This was a significant moment for me, all the countless hours that I had put in resulted in those little moments of appreciation that I deeply cherish. Hence, motivated by success and failure alike, I wake up every day pumped up to work on yet another game title. Applying knowledge and abstract theories to create something meaningful, that’s what learning means to me. Bringing together creativity and programmatic formulations is the thing my brain gets never tired of.

Be it creating heroic sword fights or ideating series of puzzles, designing video games has allowed me to create meaningful and fun-filled experiences for myself and the players. Following my pursuits has allowed me to become the outgoing and independent individual that I always wanted to become. As a creator, the power to bring change is the thing that I find the most valuable and want to collaboratively work towards with like-minded individuals.

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