I opened my NYU portal and there it was: Waitlist. My heart dropped. I thought I had to move on from my dreams of attending NYU. I had to accept that I would spend the next four years at another university.

Early May rolled around. I was at my public library studying for the AP Exams. Before I started, I checked my email. It said: “Your application status has been updated.” I immediately opened my portal to find my acceptance letter as a Spring Admit!

What's a Spring Admit?

My parents and I were excited but also confused about what it meant to be a spring admit from the waitlist. But of course, there was no other decision than to accept my enrollment! As a spring Admit, I was required to take a gap semester in the fall and take classes during the summer semester, which would allow me to graduate on time.

During my gap, I worked as a recreation aide at a nursing home, which introduced me to my passion for health care! I also traveled to India for three months and saw family that I hadn’t seen in ten years. I went to my cousin’s beautiful wedding, celebrated my birthday with my grandma for the first time, and celebrated Indian holidays like Uttaryan (Kite Festival). Overall, I made the best of my time off from school.

Me and my cousins at my cousin's wedding in India
Time To Move To Campus

During move-in, I started to feel the jitters. No, it was more than that – it was impostor syndrome. I was scared people would assume I was less intelligent because I was waitlisted. I quickly realized that it didn’t matter how I was admitted. I was admitted, just like everyone else in my class. I wound up making some of my greatest friends during my first semester.

Soon, I started to feel right at home. I also changed my major to Nutrition & Dietetics as a first year. The following year, I added a minor in Child Adolescent Mental Health Studies to explore my newfound love of healthcare.

Me and my friends that I made during my first semester on the High Line during Sophomore year
If you want my advice...

As much as these past few years have been beyond what I could have dreamed, I struggled to feel like I fit in right away because of my unconventional start to college and the stigma of being waitlisted. Looking back, I wish I could tell myself that there is not just one conventional route to attending college. It does not matter how I got here, what matters is that I make the most of the opportunity that I have.

6 students in pink sit on a unicorn during welcome week
Me with my Welcome Week Team during her Junior Year
Fast-forward to Today

As a current senior, I can confidently say my time here has not lacked in any way because I was waitlisted and started a semester later. And I have still found such amazing friends in all the micro-communities I have joined while at NYU. I have served time as a welcome week leader and am currently a Resident Assistant at Gramercy Green, the Vice President of Delta Epsilon Mu (a pre-health coed fraternity), and I work as an Admissions Ambassador.

As my time at NYU comes to an end, I am excited to move on to my top choice dietetic internship: NutraCo, on the accelerated track starting in June!

Me with fellow Gamma members at our Crossover Celebration into Delta Epsilon Mu
Me with my fellow fraternity executive board members at our first ever Philanthropy Gala where we raised $3,000!

Janki Raythattha is a Senior in Steinhardt studying Nutrition & Dietetics with a Minor in Child Adolescent Mental Health Studies. Born and raised in New Jersey. During her free time, Janki enjoys going on runs in the city, hanging out with friends, and reading.