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'finding this balance' - Describe your reasons for transferring


answers: 4
Feb 18, 2012, 10:47pm   #1
Describe your reasons for transferring. What are the objectives you hope to achieve?

I wrote this essay for the common app prompt and don't know how I feel about it. Please let me know what you think and how I can improve it. Thanks!


I always imagined that college would be the place that I would make lifelong friends, with whom I would enjoy some of the best years of my life. When I was first accepted to NYU and was told that I had the opportunity to study my freshman year abroad, I jumped at the opportunity. In the microcosm of NYU in London, I had the experience of meeting students and professors from all over the world. While this seems to have fulfilled part of my grand dream of college, I could not help but feel something was missing from the equation. The university's presence in London was very small, so I figured that once I was back in New York I would begin to experience what college was really like. However, once I transitioned back to NYU's main campus in New York, I have had a very similar experience.

While the freedom of being a young adult living on my own in the heart of New York is intoxicating, I cannot help but feel alone and disconnected from my school a lot of the time. I have found in my time here that students do not go out of their way to interact with each other and that many students take more pride in living in Manhattan than attending NYU. I credit this problem to NYU's large size and lack of a campus in which students can interact and feel like a part of the university as opposed to one of the eight million inhabitants of New York City.

I will readily admit that living in both New York and London has been incredibly exciting. I am head over heels in love with the fast pace of city life, but would like a bit of balance at this crucial stage of my life. I believe that in order to get the most out of my time in college I must have a campus and a community designed to both engage students with the university and each other.

Over the course of the three semesters I have spent here thus far, I have developed into a determined young man that knows what he wants out of life and the steps necessary to obtain it. One of these necessary steps for me is to attend a university with a campus in which I can both immerse myself in academia while maintaining a healthy, active social life with other students. I have found this balance very difficult to achieve in my current situation.

Ultimately, I wish to transfer now because I believe that I have established myself as a student and now know exactly what I want and need in a university. I would like to go to a smaller school with outstanding political science and international relations programs that has a robust, diverse community. I also hope to continue to live in a city but go to a school with a campus that will allow me to find the perfect balance between my introversion in my studies and my social life within my university's community.

My experience at NYU has taught me a great deal about myself and has been very positive in both my personal and academic development. Unfortunately, I cannot realistically see myself graduating from my current university as the only aspect of it that I have become a part of is academics. I have yet to find a place where I feel comfortable or included and firmly believe that a change in schools will allow me to continue to pursue my academic interests at the highest possible level while finding that essential sense of belonging and community. Only with this perfect balance will I be able to succeed in my future endeavors.

The decision to transfer schools was very difficult, to say the least. There is no easy way to part with the many friends I have made with both students and professors or the university that I have performed so well at thus far. Ultimately, I have come to the point in my academic career where I must pursue a more specific, goal-oriented mentality. In order to do so, and to become the best student I can possibly be, I need a university with a campus and a community students, who, like me, strive for excellence and take great pride in their work. It is my hope that my enthusiasm and determination can become a productive part of this community and that I will find happiness and balance in all aspects of my life. By finding this balance I am sure that my college years will be some of the best of my life and will help me develop not only into a promising scholar, but also a well-rounded young man.

Hey your essay is excellent. But maybe you should talk about why NYU is lacking in the Political Science department, and what you hope to take advantage of at your new school.
I like how you combined the social factors along with the academic goals that you are reaching for though.
The only thing is, the essay seems to be around 800 words? The common application (when you press print preview) will show that it has a 250-500 word limit. I called schools such as Johns Hopkins, Cornell, and Washington University in St. Louis, and they said they prefer essays that are close to the 500 - 580 mark because they read "hundreds of essays a day, and it would really help them out."
Feb 19, 2012, 12:50am   #3
hey thanks for your feedback. I was thinking about putting in a section about the politics department here, but in all honesty its one of the best and I can find no fault with it so i decided to omit that bit of info. In fact all the top Politics/IR programs are virtually the same at every one of the top tier schools. Which portions do you think I can cut out to reduce the word limit?
This is really good.
Only thing is you use too many "I's." try to use less. It makes the paper stronger and stands out.
Also, you say "New York" and "NYU" a lot!
Try to separate them out so the sentences that contain them are not right next to each other or simple use the nick name of New York would do.

Good luck!



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