So You Think You Might Defer Enrollment for Fall 2021...

There may be many reasons why the decision to defer enrollment might be the right option for you. Finance, family issues, health. Having the option to defer can ease a lot of tensions and fears around enrolling in college. Or it may prevent you from experiencing a great opportunity.

A lot of the conversation of late around deferring enrollment has been due to concerns over the pandemic. The worry is that it might change the college experience for first-year students. And rightfully so. Virtual classes, weekly PCR tests, limits on group interaction and in-person class sizes. These have all altered college from what we knew it to be. And it makes sense that the thought of going to college now seems a little less exciting than usual.

But take a moment to think about your decision to defer enrollment in another light. Some of the greatest challenges in our history have paved the way for some of the greatest innovations. This is something humans do best: see a problem, or an opportunity, and find some way to solve/make use of it. Itʼs what happened with the invention of the wheel, the polio vaccine, and industrialization. As new problems continue to challenge our very existence, people will continue to rise to the challenge of solving them.

And you might just be one of those people.

I have had the absolute pleasure of working with college students for the last five years. There isnʼt a generation more invested or more up to the challenge of tackling some of the worldʼs biggest problems. There has never been a generation more prepared to balance the realities and needs of both the individual and the collective so well.

How Does College Play Into That?

Anyone will tell you that there will never again be a time in your life where you can pursue your wildest visions, dreams, and solutions. There will probably never again be a time when you will have people willing to invest their time, resources, and effort into helping you build them. At least not without expecting anything in return. There will never be a time where our raw observations and experiences in a global pandemic might allow us to devise new systems and tools to safeguard our societies.

Barring an extenuating circumstance, I encourage you to think twice about the decision to defer enrollment. If there was ever a time when we needed young people in these amazing spaces of creativity and innovation, itʼs now. With everything facing our world today—whether itʼs a global pandemic or a climate crisis, or the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in literature, or the need for policymakers and judges who can get to the root of racial injustice. We need a generation well equipped to face whatʼs ahead of us.

You want to know why you shouldnʼt defer enrollment? Because everything you’re about to achieve over the next four years should excite you.

Eudora is an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions for NYU Abu Dhabi, reading applications from the U.S., the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa. What she especially loves about her job is traveling around the world to meet prospective students and telling them about all the amazing opportunities that exist at NYU. She enjoys reading, cooking, and putting things in online carts she’ll probably never buy.