A hand holds a pen and writes in a notebook

Struggling to find the right words for NYU's 2023-24 supplemental essay? Not to fear! Get a little inspiration from how NYU Admissions Counselors Jimmy Vazzana, Bridget Halstead, and Ayham Adawi interpret and answer this year's supplemental question. For more advice about the supplemental essay, read this article! Best of luck on submitting your application!

NYU Supplemental Essay (Jimmy's Version)

“We’re used to people telling us there are no solutions, and then creating our own. So we did what we do best. We reached out to each other, and to our allies, and we mobilized across communities to make change, to benefit and include everyone in society.” Judith Heumann, Disability Rights Activist and 2022 NYU Commencement Address Speaker

Humanity is a web within which we are all intrinsically tied. Realizing one’s own agency is the key to better community. Realizing that we as humans can leverage that agency together is the key to a better world.

Even the tiniest drops of water can create a new path over time. The power of persistence has motivated me my entire life. Each individual voice, relationship, and community is a work of art, and that art is a powerful medium of change. The world we experience today needs that art, the persistence that comes with it, and passion that inspires it. The fact that almost 8 billion of us around the globe are writing a story together, whether we want to or not, is a harmony of existence. As humans on this planet, we have the ability to steer that pen on paper.

Through my community engagement, extracurricular leadership, and academic exploration, I have already learned an incredible amount towards how I want to show up in this world. I’ve learned that when people come together over a cause, there is no hurdle too high. I’ve learned that diversity is essential, and diversity of thought results in innovative ideas and solutions. I’ve learned that sustainable design principles can build healthier, happier environments.

From a pool of individuals’ solutions comes the collective future of our dreams. I would love nothing more than to roll up my sleeves and learn amongst the greatest minds of my generation as a student at NYU. 

NYU Supplemental Essay (Ayham's Version)

“You have the right to want things and to want things to change.” Sanna Marin, Former PM of Finland and 2023 NYU Commencement Address Speaker

I grew up in a household that valued tradition wholeheartedly and held a profound connection to following our beliefs, customs, and legacy till the day we leave this world. I loved my traditions and customs, but I also loved change: learning, growing, prospering, and reimagining tradition. Yet, at times, these two values clashed, unfortunately, and I was faced with the dilemma of “what is right?” I remember staring at my computer screen, looking at my academic record, and being happy with my grades and position at my school. I made my mother proud, and that’s all that mattered… But was it?

Part of me, deeply hidden inside, was unsatisfied. I was good at what I did, but I wasn’t happy. I wanted to be in a more open, diverse, and inclusive environment. I wanted to feel more challenged –  I wanted change. I remembered my traditions and beliefs, but I also wanted to remember myself, my wants for change, and I wanted to better myself. These two parts of my identity don’t always have to clash. So, I catered to the next step of my life, applying to college, to situate myself in spaces where I can experience the growth I want to see for myself. The challenges I want to endure. I am applying to NYU because I do have the right to want things, and I want to experience my new self in the global education NYU has to offer.

NYU Supplemental Essay (Bridget's Version)

Share a short quote and person not on this list, and why the quote inspires you.

“Everybody wave goodbye to Juice Box!” So screams Will Ferrell in the 2005 cinematic masterpiece Kicking and Screaming. Admittedly, this is a weird quote for a college essay, but hear me out. Every Friday night growing up, my family would choose a movie to watch. Most often, we would choose Kicking and Screaming, a comedy about a crazy soccer coach.

Every week, we’d sit in the same places and settle in to watch the same movies in rotation. And every week, regardless of how many times she’d seen it, my younger sister laughed hysterically when Will Ferrell screamed at the “juice box boy.”

How could she think it was so funny? I didn’t. And after all, she was basically a mini-me – or so I thought. When you’re 13, it seems like your siblings are non-player characters; you live in the same house and occasionally chat about chores, but you never think about them as real people with independent thoughts. Or, at least I didn’t. My sister’s laughter led me to realize that, even though we lived in the same house, I didn’t actually know all that much about my siblings. Since then, I’ve made an active effort to learn more about the people around me. In college, I strive to extend this sense of curiosity about people into the rest of my life, too. I believe that everyone has a unique perspective to share. By learning about other people, I can learn more about the wider world around me.