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i am lucy layne

NYU admission essay

Neither of my parents went to college. In fact, none of my aunts or uncles did either, and I have 21 of them. To me, going to college was like Santa coming down the chimney — I could talk about it as much as I wanted, but it was never going to happen. We were poor.

Like all little kids, I had quite the imagination. So, money or no money, I often pictured myself sitting in class at NYU, reading all night in the library, and meeting my family at the airport when they arrived to visit.

It turns out, this dream of mine was closer to reality than a fantasy. I started learning about student loans and scholarships. I started thinking it was really going to happen — I was going to go to NYU. I was going to … but I didn’t.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer my senior year of high school, and I decided that I couldn’t leave her when she was sick. I never applied. What a rollercoaster — I had this impossible thing that I never really thought of seriously come within arm’s reach, and I then watched it slip right between my fingertips.

Anyway, I know my transcripts are nothing to choke on your hot coffee over, but please know that my grades are not a reflection of my capabilities but more a reflection of my circumstances at the time.

I’m 36 years old. I never thought my mom would die of cancer — it never even crossed my mind. I never thought I would go to college. I never thought I would be the editor-in-chief of a magazine or a certified data center design professional, for that matter. I never thought my sister would move to Las Vegas. I never thought I would meet my uncle Sabah. I never thought I’d be shopping for fashionable face masks. The list goes on, but, the point is, there are a lot of things I never thought would happen that did.

So I realized the other day that, just because I didn’t get my undergrad degree from NYU, it doesn’t mean I can’t be a student there — crazier things have happened.

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more than this, and I am finally ready for it.