Why Major X - Neuroscience

Essay Prompt

For applicants to Columbia College, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the Member Questions section. If you are currently undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have an interest at this time. (300 words or less)

Sample Essay

As a rising 7th grader, I frequented bookstores a lot, especially Barnes & Noble. One day a table caught my eye; it was a collection of books related to the brain and the mind. Over the weeks, I became more fascinated and eventually began buying books to read from the table. One such book was Matthew MacDonald’s “Your Brain: The Missing Manual.” While it was partially a science guide that introduced vocabulary and concepts from biology and psychology to explain the workings of the brain and the mind, the book also included some advice on how to get the most from your mind. I was really engaged by how MacDonald connected the physical workings of the brain to their results and implications in daily life. I also devoured Ron Hale-Evan’s “Mind Performance Hacks,” a fun guide offering tips and tools (hacks) to “overclock your brain." He led me to think about how neuroscience can be applied to solve common problems, such as using mnemonics to aid memory. My curiosity about neuroscience has persisted since then through listening to relevant TED talks and reading publications such as Scientific American Mind, but I am excited to truly begin the adventure of exploring the brain, the “last frontier of human innovation,” at college.

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