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Supplement: Columbia - 2


Terry Chung

A "Why Columbia" Essay

Columbia is a combination of the Platonic Academy and the Epicurean Garden: the rigor of its core curriculum harmoniously coexists with the zest of its students to hold dialectic debates.

Hence, the Columbia dorm is often transfigured into the court of Castiglione, wherein men and women of a Renaissance understanding of philosophy, art, and literature discuss ideas that are often devoid from other universities’ daily conversation.

The notion that here, I can pluck any student, engineer or poet, in the Low Library buried behind Nietzsche, ready to discuss Camus, excites my very (possibly pointless and paradoxically absurd) philosophy-loving existence.

Columbia’s worldly education is best complemented by its location. After a probe into impressionism in Art Hum fellow connoisseurs and I can waltz over to the Met and view Monet’s Water Lilies, whereafter we will convene at Carnegie Hall to listen to (my personal favorite) Tristan and Isolde, applying critical listening skills we learned in Music Hum. At every nook and cranny of the great city are hidden gems, any deliberate but not random, say Jackson Pollock-ian walk, will lead you to therapeutic beauty: the wabi sabi of Central Park, or ubermensch Atlas, to bring calm and strength to your psyche.

I find the most fulfillment in exploring the intricate paradoxes of metaphysics or scrutinizing the sublime aesthetics of art. Only at Columbia will I find such a large number of like-minded cosmopolitan thinkers, eager to spend sleepless nights in Socratic Dialogue, and evening dates at the MoMA.

Ultimately the ambrosia of peer to peer philosophical discussion, the intellectual and spiritual tradition of our species learned through the Core Curriculum, and the nectar of the singular richness of art life in New York makes Columbia my dream destination.”

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