On Tour with Kiara: Guest to Guide
Hi there, my name is Kiara, and I am a first-year student in the Drama Therapy Program, at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and have been living in New York for about six years.
Recently, I gave my first NYU tour! It was given to a group of students visiting NYC for the first time. Hearing about how they explored the city reminded me of when I first moved to New York and my journey here. The excitement, the dreams, and all the hopes to be something great in the famous concrete jungle. Coming to pursue my bachelors, meeting new people, getting involved in school, and creating community were all great things to experience. After completing my undergraduate degree in acting, I had to start all over again in the “real world,” as everyone called it. As I walked the group through campus, I thought about how my journey at NYU began.
It was 2020, I was about to graduate college and I had to answer the famous “So, what are you doing after graduation?” question. I knew I wanted to pursue a graduate program in drama therapy but was very lost on where to begin. What schools should I apply to? Does this mean I have to take the GRE? What about the money? I just finished taking out loans, will I have to go through that process again? These were some of the questions that kept me awake at night. I needed some guidance in this process. That’s when I Googled: “ma in drama therapy NYU”. Why NYU? I knew they had a well-established drama therapy program and that attracted me.
Without much knowledge of what I wanted in a program or about NYU, I scheduled a campus tour. I remember I was so nervous when the tour date came up. I stayed in the back of the group. In my face you could see a mixture of excitement, horror, uncertainty, joy…all the things! The group had two tour guides, one of them was in the back on the tour and noticed how nervous I was. She approached me and asked me where I was from, I told her “Puerto Rico” and after that we chatted through the end of the tour. She had the answer to all my questions and made me feel very supported through this process. The tour really helped me locate myself physically in NYU, but also it provided me with an insightful look at a student’s perspective of the institution. That same night I started my application for NYU - I had no doubt that this was the place for me!
Offering my first tour reminded me of that student that helped me in my tour. It felt so great to offer my insight, answer the student’s questions and guide them through our beautiful campus. I even met a student from Puerto Rico on that tour! She was in the back of the group, just like I was just two years before. She approached me and, in a whisper, asked me “Are you from Puerto Rico?,” I smiled and gave her a big “¡Claro que sí!” We chatted for the rest of the tour.
Let my story serve as an invitation to schedule your NYU tour. It is a great opportunity to meet new people with the same interests as you, answer your questions about the application process, understand student life, get answers to the hard questions, and experience a day on campus. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be on my next tour!