• Nora Sun

Tags: UC Berkeley

Institution: UC Berkeley

Study: Major in bioengineering and EECS

High School Experience

In high school, I was a part of my school’s marching band and spent a majority of my time with the band. In senior year, I took classes at a local community college as well. I’m glad I was able to find a group I identified with so well and was comfortable spending my time with because they helped me through high school.

Course choices

My school did not allow for much exploration of my STEM interests, so I instead chose to take classes at a community college. My interests were in STEM, so I took psychology classes, biology, chemistry, math, and coding classes at De Anza.


I took two AP classes in my junior year, biology and calculus BC. I received a 5 on both exams and the calculus AB sub grade. I also took two more exams, psychology and English language, without taking the class. I received a 5 in both of those as well.


3.857 unweighted, 4.286 weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1600

SAT Math 2: 800

SAT Korean: 800

SAT Biology: 780


I participated in the marching band for all four years of my high school career and held a high position of Property and Logistics Manager in my junior and senior years. I also participated in an outside youth orchestra for two years, the school’s winter percussion for two years, and the Korean Student Association for three years as secretary and president. I also dod club swimming for six years before high school and changed to the school swim team for two years. I am also an avid church goer, having attended for most of my life. I’ve attended retreats, mission trips, and led as a student leader at my church.


My relationship with the teachers were not particularly great because I am not a very outspoken student. One of the teachers I asked was from my sophomore year, so it had been a while but she had good memories of me and I had good memories of her and the class.


I tried to write about as diverse topics as possible, though there’s only so much one can write about, given their life experiences. For my UC apps, I wrote about a health condition, about the marching band, a difficult class I had taken, and a music competition I had participated in.


I believe my strong academic records, as well as my tenacity and candor shown through my essays made me a strong applicant.


I would remind them that academics and college apps are not everything, and that they also have to explore what they really like doing. I believe some people are too focused on becoming “achieved” that they neglect to think of their own happiness.




Of the schools that I had been accepted to, the UCs had been the most affordable. As an immigrant, cost was a big factor. Looking at the UCs that I had been accepted to, I had the decision to make between San Diego and Berkeley. I had been accepted to San Diego as an undeclared major, which was a major downside. This, coupled with the fact that Berkeley was closer and more prestigious, led me to choose UC Berkeley.


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