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  • Nora Sun

Tags: Tufts, low income, first generation


Institution: Tufts University

Study: Major in biomedical engineering


High School Experience

My high school experience was exceptional, but I’ve come to understand that your time in high school tends to be what you make it. I was involved in a lot of sports and that allowed me to meet so many people who would eventually become my closest friends. I’d say the only real issue I had with my high school was the diversity agenda that was constantly pressed by administration, since Malden High is one of the most diverse schools in terms of ethnicity and background in the state of Massachusetts.


Course choices

I was very invested in the life sciences most notably biology and chemistry, I was able to apply for a lab internship through my AP bio class, and that really shaped my academic ambitions. I always knew I wanted to provide something to the medical field, but it was my time at the lab as well as my STEM courses that pointed me towards biomedical engineering.


AP/IBs

I took US history (3)/Language and composition (5)/ Bio (4)/ World History (5). I also took literature and composition, physics, chemistry, Spanish and Calculus AB.


GPA

4.4 weighted, 3.7 unweighted


Standardized Testing

SAT: 1300


Extracurriculars

I did soccer and indoor track for 4 years, and rowing for two. I was captain of the long distance team for track during my last two seasons. I was also in drum major (the conductor) in the wind ensemble and I was a member of both the jazz and marching band. I was also the secretary of the National Honor Society chapter of my school, which I participated in for 3 years. I did various other projects and programs externally from school but for the most part they weren’t long term.


Recommendations

Very strong, I’m not sure about calling and emailing, but all three of my recommenders had known me since freshman year. I believe that they played a crucial role in my admissions process.


Essays

I have a younger brother with a health condition called Spina bifida, which impairs his bodily functions from the waist down. He lies at the center of my academic ambitions and goals and serves as the inherent drive for anything and everything I do, so my college essay was about him. In most other cases I’d speak over a desire to change the tangible world through the use of microbiology as well which served as an alternate theme when my brothers testimony didn’t seem appropriate for the given prompt.


Strengths

I honestly can’t really tell you, it could be a lot of things as well as str8 up luck. I was involved in a lot of extracurriculars and I worked hard to help my community, I also wrote very strong essays and my final gpa was a 4.5, but I still had a lower SAT score and ultimately I still made various mistakes. In retrospect, it was probably the relationships in my life that made me a strong applicant, knowing who to go to for help, references, recs or financial advice.


Advice

For sure, don’t do things to simply pad your resume or app, do things with purpose and drive that makes sense to you. When an admissions office sees that you half assed 30 different clubs, it means a lot less than doing fewer things, but with a higher product yield and apparent passion. This is something that I’ve learned to apply to various aspects of my life. Don’t do things because it’s expected of you, do things because you yourself want to change something of this world, yourself or others, aka~ know why you’re doing the things you're doing.


Circumstances

Low income, first generation


Why?

I was really lucky in the sense that I applied early decision and got my acceptance before I even had a chance to submit any other apps. The main reason I chose tufts, is because I’m aware of the toxic competitive nature of various institutions that drives its students to constantly fight for academic superiority and recognition, but tufts caught my heart in the sense that it’s truly a collaborative school, instead of clawing your way to the top, you learn and become enriched by your peers in a collaborative environment that furthers your academic and human understanding.


#Tufts #low_income #first_generation

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