July 10, 2018

Closing the gap between the life I want and the life I live

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“What are you passionate about?”

My type line blinked at the empty application text box. I could not think of anything worse than coming across as a mundane personality void of passion. But as I sat, postulating at the facts that should be in the forefront of my mind, I could not help but revisit a deep-seated insecurity: no matter what I would write here and what I have written before, I had yet to discover an answer I was sure of.

That was in October 2017; I applied to iXperience a week later.

I revisited this memory over the weekend on a drive through the mountainous regions of the Western Cape. My friends and I booked a safari five hours away from Camps Bay, which gifted me the rare opportunity to reflect on my five completed weeks in Cape Town.

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Sunset swims at Camps Bay

Throughout my life, I have often found myself fast-tracked on the course of academia and I have made an active point to focus on the choices that will place me in a competitive arena. But can you blame me? I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. The Product Management class could not have been more personally tailored to my needs: the ideal blend of marketing, psychology, tech, art, and business. I pitched ideas, fine-tuned my public speaking skills, and developed a product up to a high-fidelity clickable wireframe. It is definitely one of the most informative and enriching classes I have taken throughout my entire academic career. I am unable to express my endless gratitude for the teaching staff as they provided the perfect balance of an encouraging and challenging environment.

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Elephant sanctuary visits

I have grown outside of the classroom as well; hiking mountains, surfing, and wine tasting are just some of the few excursions that have impacted me. I have never been more in awe of my own life. It is also worth mentioning that this is not my first study abroad experience. I spent my freshman year of NYU in Paris and have been on alternative break trips. So what makes iX different? I have had the freedom to explore my intellectual curiosities without the heavy hand of university grading. There are no required major courses, no prerequisites. I have found friends I have wished for my whole life. I have gained professional skills in an unmatched setting. Lastly, I have finally found things I am truly passionate about. 

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Bright and colourful Bo Kaap snaps

It was during this drive back from the safari trip that I began my next application, a global Honors seminar at NYU. Pulling up the document, I was faced with the very words that have derailed my prior efforts. But this time the text flowed without hesitation or vacillation. I had thought passion would be something to stumble upon, but perhaps it is much less serendipitous than that; through iXperience I have made an active point to close the gap between the life I want and the life I live.

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