Institution: Brown University
High School Experience
I loved high school! At the beginning (freshman yr 1st semester) was hard for me to get the hang of it and school was tough, but once I figured it out, it was great! I was lucky enough to have a great group of friends and though I spent a lot of time studying and stuff, I still felt I had a pretty active social life! One of my regrets is that I didn't do as much or get involved as much with school as I wanted to. like joining student government or something.
At our school, most of our courses within the “IB track” were the same few, so I didn’t really have much choice when selecting courses. Most of my courses were stem focused though (rather than the “humanities” IB track), because I was in higher math before and I wanted to continue that, and also because I knew I would be premed. I also liked STEM courses and that kind of went along with being premed.
Our school is IB so I took IB HL English, math, biology, and IB SL chem (I got a 7), econ (I got a 6), anthro (I didn’t test) and french. Some of them I would have tested in this year so I don't know my scores yet (also bc of COVID we weren’t actually able to take the test so). I took AP calc AB and the BC test, and I got a 5 on both.
4.0 unweighted, 5.0 weighted
SAT 1: 1520
SAT 2: 1530
SAT superscore: 1570; 800 math, 770 reading
SAT Chemistry: 800
SAT Math 2: 800
Most of my extracurriculars were med focused (so like research, shadowing) and music (I was part of a choir for 2 years) and I did some community service (lifting spirits with music since 7th grade, volunteered at a hospital) as well. I was part of HOSA for 2 years, and senior year I was the secretary.
One of the teachers I had for 3 years and we weren’t BEST friends or anything but he had seen me grow from freshman year to junior year in his class so I thought he could speak to that aspect. The other teacher I had for 3 years and so he would attest to what kind of student I was too. the last teacher I had for 1 year as an english teacher and we weren’t very close but I needed another writer for my letter of rec and I knew he wrote good ones. I only applied to BS/MD programs so I heavily relied on the first teacher because he was my chem teacher and most schools asked for science recs, but my second rec writer knew me very well. I would say to choose someone who knows you as a student and as a person very well, and can speak to you as both.
My common app essay was actually a recipe! As I only applied to BS/MD programs, the “why medicine” base essay was also narrative. As for others (like why this school, all of the “250 word” questions) were rather straightforward.
Honestly my advice is always focus on school and learn what you’re interested in but also don’t forget to live your life and have a social life- don’t miss out on your childhood just because school comes first. Before you know it you’ll be graduating and you’ll have spent all of your time in high school with your nose buried in a book. obviously follow your passions, figure out what you want to do in life but also don’t lose sight of making memories and having fun with your friends. Work life balance is so important, and I think everyone should have some kind of life.
This university and this program specifically has been my dream for as long as I’ve been in high school. It allows me to explore academic interests outside of being “premed” (hence being a liberal medical education) and learn to my heart’s content!