“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.
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.
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.
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.