• Nora Sun

Tags: UCLA

Institution: University of California Los Angeles

Study: Major in psychobiology, minor in gender studies

High School Experience

I went to a private Christian school that refused to teach a lot of basic science concepts you need for college such as evolution. Because of this most of our alumni attend private Christian colleges to receive the same kind of education. Being able to get into UCLA with that kind of background makes me absolutely certain that no matter where you come from that you can succeed if you put in the work! My school had four AP classes in a good year so opportunities were few and far between. The class offerings and teaching style definitely weren’t my favorite but I enjoyed the opportunity to do community service and missions work overseas - it really helped me stand out on my college applications. Overall a lot of what I did surrounded agriculture and kids. I served seven years in 4-H as well as four in FFA, during which I collectively held office (leadership positions) nine times. I was also what’s called a “Teen Leader” for the 4-H cake decorating group, which meant I taught younger kids how to decorate. Alongside my love of all things agriculture I was a cheer coach for 1st-8th graders for four years, the varsity cheer captain at my school for three, and I volunteered with special needs foster youth through a program called Creative Alternatives.



4.8 senior year

4.42 overall

Standardized Testing

SAT Superscore: 1430

Top SAT Score: 1400

SAT Essay: 21/24.



I had one teacher write me a letter of recommendation and the other was my counselor and the third was my 4H leader. The teacher that I chose has been mentoring me since 7th grade and I would describe our relationship as excellent if not maternal in nature. She has a PhD in virology and really encouraged my love of science and empowered me to want to be a successful woman in STEM. She made time for me out of class when I needed help on assignments and gave me extra time to facilitate labs. Strong female role models are out there if you’re willing to put in the effort to find them!


It was all about my “why.” Colleges can learn a lot about your qualifications from your application, but I personally believe that your why means more than that. Nine times out of ten I think people would choose the less qualified applicant who loves what they’re doing and is motivated to learn than the genius who can’t take correction.



Your why is all about your motivation. For me, my goal is to go to medical school and become a pediatrician. I explained all the reasons I set my eyes on that career choice and why I believe their college and my experiences would help me thrive as an MD. Those experiences included coaching youth cheerleading and volunteering with special needs foster youth.



#UCLA #University_of_California_Los_Angeles

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