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Supplement: Columbia - 3


Donian Chyong

A "Why Columbia" Essay

Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why (2,000 characters or fewer)

Last summer, my father took me to visit Columbia University, his alma mater. Pointing at the list of venerated philosophes at the top of the Butler Library, my father asked who is an educated person. A Columbia graduate is an educated person because students receive a classical education focused on philosophy, literature, art, history, and writing. Because these teach how to read, how to speak, how to think, I want to attend Columbia University. Because the direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life, I want an education that gives me firm hold on the past to create a foundation for my future. Through the books assigned in the Core Curriculum, I want to search deep into the depths of human nature found in the pages and pages of liberal arts.

My high school offers Latin to students starting from the eighth grade. Now in my fifth year of Latin, I enjoyed my high school education among a community of Latin scholars that shared not only a passion for the classics, but also the struggles and successes of translating the beautiful, yet complex, language. I want a similar family of shared experiences at Columbia where all students are required to read the same books and take the same classes within the Core Curriculum. Despite the vast array of diversity I expect to meet at Columbia, students of all different majors and interests and perspectives unite to plumb the depths of philosophy and literature. In Lit Hum, I want to talk about how my experiences translating the original Latin in works such as the Aeneid, De Bello Gallico, and The Conspiracy of Catiline affect my interpretations of the works we read. Sharing the joys, the struggles, and the new insights gained from delving together through the writings of centuries and centuries of civilization creates learning through community at Columbia. I wish to continue my education surrounded by peers and professors who share my appreciation for philosophy, classics, and literature.

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