uhhhh oh jeez
the truth is i have very few memories at this point of the application process
my main piece of advice would be to do your very best with the writing sample/essays! strong SAT scores, cumulative grades, extracurriculars, etc are basically regarded as a prerequisite if you’re applying to any sort of exclusive institution. However, the writing portions of a college application are where you can actually set yourself apart from other applicants who will likely have identical - or better - academic records.
this doesn’t mean that you should write the most technically accomplished, over-the-top essay ever. write things that are honest and funny and unique to you! and then get a bunch of people to read over what you’ve written.
seriously, though, from what i’ve heard, the best way to stand out in the applications process is through your very own actual personality, and the essays you submit to schools are the best way to show who you are. NYU in particular is targeted toward the creative, clever, and ambitious, so do your very best to have a personality during the process.
failing that, just talk about how much you love being “global.” buzzwords!!!
(if this answer was completely useless, i’d like to direct you to my boyfriend, who answers these questions with 100% more grace and sincerity)