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Amanda Holda

Amanda Holda

Applied Psychology

Where were you born/where did you grow up?
East Lansing, Michigan, though I spent most of my summers and autumn weekends in northern Michigan near Frankfort and Traverse City.

Where you attended undergrad/grad school?
I received my BA in English & American Literature from NYU CAS ('13) and my MA in Higher Education & Student Affairs from NYU Steinhardt ('16). Lots of Violet pride over here!

What's your go-to snack? 
Coffee. Always coffee.

What's your favorite book? 
I read a lot of nonfiction exploring identity, social issues, and intersectional-feminist critiques of pop-culture. Some of my favorite authors include Roxane Gay, Lindy West, Michael Arceneaux, and Samantha Irby. If you want a TRULY laugh-out-loud read, I highly recommend Irby's We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. and Wow, No Thank You.

What's your favorite movie? 
Definitely a tie between Mean Girls and Bridesmaids. Mean Girls is so quotable and really resonated with me when I saw it in theaters in middle school. Bridesmaids because Melissa McCarthy is my queen and that cast is incredible.

What's your favorite music? 
I love, love, LOVE Janelle Monáe, Chromeo (aka the Funklordz), Big Freedia, and the only legend I stan, Cher.

What do you do in your spare time?
I like to find new coffee shops, travel, go hiking, and watch laughably terrible movies (think The Room, Troll 2, anything on Lifetime, etc.).

Coolest thing you've done/seen in NYC?
Running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half-Marathon each year stands out as a cool NYC (Brooklyn?) moment for me. It's the largest half-marathon in the United States and being a part of that is always a complete thrill. Also, the people who cheer on the runners are probably saints-- that race is no joke.

Favorite spot in NYC?
A lot of my favorite NYC-spots center around coffee shops: I go to Porto Rico Importing Co. on Bleecker Street so often that they've recognized me from APUG & NYU social media (does this make me Insta-famous?!), reading in the backyard of Qathra in Ditmas Park, or getting the very on-brand matte black latte from Round K on the Lower East Side.

One piece of advice you'd give to APUG students.
College is a time of self-exploration and expression. You will be negotiating and (re)defining who you are throughout your time here, so go ahead and take that course on Medieval Misogyny or Metalsmithing, join an improv group, apply to be an RA or Admissions Ambassador, and be fearless as you move forward over the coming semesters. You'll have an incredible community at NYU to support you throughout your journey.