Institution: Duke University
Study: Major in mechanical engineering with a concentration in automotive engineering
High School Experience
I liked that my high school stressed interdisciplinary courses and the significance of visual and performing arts in a well rounded curriculum; however, I thought that the student and faculty members were monolithic in their political views, and the school fostered a culture of “safetyism” and fragility.
Throughout high school, I really enjoyed biology, psychology, neuroscience, and many of my history courses, and these interests definitely guided my course selections.
Our school did not offer AP/IB courses.
SAT Math 2: 800
SAT US History: 750
I was editor in chief of my high school newspaper, actively involved in MUN, debate, and political action clubs.
I had a wonderful relationship with the teachers who wrote my recommendations.
My common app essay was a series of vignettes outlining challenges that I had confronted successfully or unsuccessfully throughout high school, including academic and social.
I displayed a wide range of interests and passions, as well as leadership skills, through my common application, and I had a very strong GPA and high tier test scores.
I would say all academic challenges are surmountable if you are determined to tackle them, and I would suggest not pursuing extracurriculars a for performative reasons only, but because they are consistent with a passion of yours.
I chose Duke because it had the perfect balance of rigorous academics and social life, and they also had interesting service-oriented programs such as DukeEngage.