Into the Columbia Blue | Undergraduate Admissions Video | Columbia University


When I first stepped on campus it was
completely different than anything I had ever thought of. It just felt like a
historic place a special place. Being surrounded by everyone who really
inspires you I think it kind of pushed me to do more.
Seeing the accomplishments that my peers are able to make it’s a really cool
feeling to be part of such an ambitious community. I fell in love with being in
New York City I fell in love with the diversity here and the people that I met
every semester like three of our five professors are just like world-famous
which is like ridiculous right but that’s true across like all departments and
programs here at Columbia. Debating books, debating pieces of art debating meaning
behind that, I stepped back from my own perspective and I started looking at the
world around me in a broader context. I’ve really seen people grow in ways
that I never could have imagined I feel like I’ve grown so much myself. You realize that you’re part of a
university that has had so many incredible people come before you and
all of a sudden you’re part of that as well. Coming to Columbia was the first time
that I had a chance to experience different things and one of the things I
really enjoyed was changing seasons. I think fall is a really exciting time
at Columbia it’s a time of excitement it’s a time of change. It’s all these new
students are coming in and they’re getting adjusted to Columbia. At Columbia
I met students from all over the world from all continents from Australia
to my neighbors from Bulgaria. I’m from Shanghai China. Cape Coral Florida.
Originally from Nigeria. Holden Maine. And everyone had such different experiences
and such different stories I don’t know how to explain but like the
international students we all have like something in common like the fact that
we are international brought you together exactly knowing that you go to
a university with not just like-minded individuals but open-minded individuals
it was something that I wanted to be part of. Learning from somebody who has a
different background from you is a very very eye-opening experience. Engineering
is all about seeing things from different perspectives and being able to
understand multiple perspectives to solve one common project is gonna be
something I use for the rest of my life. You just have so many different people
that believe so many different things and exhibit those things in different
ways that you’re almost forced to at least engage with the ideas that people
have and the value that that brings to just like your conversations your
projects like everything you do it’s really remarkable. Winter is the best season for New York City and the best season for
Columbia. You get to experience New York in the holidays which is maybe the most
magical thing a human being can do. The core curriculum is the backbone of
the Columbia experience. Studying in the School of Engineering and Applied
Science you take basically a third of the core.
For me something really important was being able to not just go into
engineering, just going to mathematics I always wanted more.
You end up taking classes that maybe you wouldn’t have picked otherwise. I assumed I
wasn’t interested in science – learned a lot about neuroscience learned about
psychology learned about ecology. We spend multiple years in these small
seminar classes surrounded by 18 to 20 other students who come from totally
different backgrounds than you and you have very difficult conversations with
those people but in a very respectful manner. You read the same set of books
you go through the same set of discussions you ask the same big
questions and it was just cool for everybody to be coming at the texts from
different experiences but kind of all talking about the same thing. And that’s
one of the ways that you make really good friends here at Columbia is through
those conversations and it’s not necessarily people who you always agree
with. The core I would say is both an academic and a personal growth
curriculum. It shifts from just being a descriptive conversation about what you
read or what you see and it turns into why did you read what you read, why do
you look at a painting and see what you see, why is my perspective different from
the person’s across from me. I think what the Core has given me is really
fundamentally a perspective shift and what it’s led me to is a focus on
creating new and real solutions to problems that I see in my own world. Tree-lighting is a great example of a community tradition that we have. There are
performances by acapella groups free chocolate free donuts what Lorenzo my friend always says as
we’re walking down college walk he said I will never get tired of this walk. so
it’s a really cool way to celebrate the transition into the winter last year we had a crazy snowstorm
everyone was enjoying themselves so much a lot of people hadn’t seen snow before
they’ve come here. There’s a sense of unity and it’s a really fun thing to
share with your friends and just like brings the entire community together in a really in a really cool way I love spring because it’s getting
warmer out so there are more people coming out on campus. Once the snow melts
you’ll see everyone on low steps just sitting there and basking in the sun The cool thing about Columbia’s campus
is you’re kind of in your own little world within the city of New York. You
walk in through any of the sets of gates that line our campus and it’s just silent. I
see my friends walking through campus no matter what day it is. You see students
lying on the grass you see people playing frisbee. We have restaurants that
we go to our favorite coffee shops in Morningside Heights. They become your
hangout spots your study spots. And that’s a really remarkable thing and
something that really fosters like the college experience that you get here at
Columbia. My favorite part of campus is definitely the Amsterdam bridge. Lerner
Hall. Butler Library. Low Steps. Low Steps. Low Steps. Favorite spot on campus
is definitely Low Steps. But the Columbia experience is not only
a classroom experience. That’s probably another kind of big point about Columbia
students – regardless of what their particular interest is they all care
about like things outside of these gates. There’s a Whitney Biennial going on I
think it’s like America’s leading young artists right now and one exhibition..
New York City offers everything no matter what you’re studying no matter
what you’re interested at the moment you can kind of go out and explore those
different passions. And the cool thing about going to
Columbia is that we can get a lot of these things either free or severely
discounted price. And because we’re in the city we can
really intern in parallel with classes. I was always interested in politics. My
first week of school actually I started out working for someone who was getting
elected to City Council. I don’t think that’s an opportunity I would have
gotten anywhere else. This summer I had an internship at the American Museum of
Natural History where I was doing biology research; I was able to live on
campus and commute to the museum. Engineers at Columbia go on to work
for law firms, for marketing companies, nonprofit organizations. New York as a
city has pretty much every industry you could possibly think of and seeing that
diversity of application of engineering was very eye-opening to me as a freshman
engineering student. If you are passionate about something,
Columbia gives you the platform and all the
resources that allow you to pursue it. ‘next a broader set of arguments relate
to secular stagnation. I am not persuaded by those theories’ For me it happened to
be research with Nobel laureate professor Joseph Stiglitz. For others it
might be another goal but I believe that Columbia has met has even exceeded my
expectations. Buildings and the campus and the programs
and all this make it nice but by far the best thing about Columbia is the people.
The people. The people. The people are amazing in so many different ways. I
think that people come here for each other. To be connected to the people who
are going to lead all these different industries that’s definitely something
that’s very unique to Columbia and the opportunities that this education and this
degree afford to you. The people who come here are going to go
do great things like there’s no doubt about that
but it’s really more about pushing the world in the right direction that really
guides what we do. At Columbia engineering there is this fundamental
emphasis that what you build isn’t good for its own sake but rather good for the
society that it’s meant to impact. Columbia is a place that’s like
ever-growing ever-changing and at the end of the day we’re true to our values. It’s the challenge and the motivation
that I’m not going to accept my world the way I see it I’m going to leave my own
mark on it I’m going to create my own solutions to the issues that I see that
has been really really formative for my time at Columbia.

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