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  • Nora Sun

Tags: UPenn, international


Institution: University of Pennsylvania

Study: Major in nursing, minor in global health


High School Experience

I did not like my high school experience that much. It was fine but there were many times in which I felt like my teachers were not doing enough to help me understand the concept. For example, in my physics class my teachers would not re-explain anything and did not put in an effort to teach me anything. There are many times when teachers do not tell you what they think of you as a student. For example, my grade went from a A to a C in my 10th grade history class because my teacher said I did not submit a few assignments during the week I was gone. I asked my teacher many times if there was work that was due or if I was being responsible and at that time she said I was doing good. But when it was the end of the semester and grades came out, the truth came out and I realized that my teacher had a whole different perspective of me. I really wish teachers could communicate and be honest with their students about what they actually think about them. Something like this also happened in my elective class for senior year. But this time I decided to ask my teacher every few weeks how I was doing and if there was anything I needed to work on. My teacher said I was doing fine and in my report card she said I was not that responsible for my age and when I talked to her about this she said that there were times when she felt like I did not turn in assignments on time. I was confused when I heard this because I thought we were on the same page since I would always communicate with her when I would turn in assignments. In my personal opinion I believe many teachers grade students based on their first impression or bias towards a student which is not good. Also, the vibe that I got from many teachers in my school is that they do not want to or do not have the patience to make sure their students fully understand the concepts. They just want to teach everything once and if the students get it the first round that's good for them and if not that's the students fault.


Course choices

To combat the bad grades that I got in some of my classes and to develop some skills I decided to enroll in some college credit classes from ASU and I completed 24 college credits there (which is an equivalent to 1st year of U.S uni). I got a 4.0 from there and I believe I got this score due to how the class was structured. There were weekly checklists given and all the lectures were recorded meaning I could re watch a video many times to pick up on small details. I also volunteered for a non-profit U.S organization called The Borgen Project and got promoted to a regional director position in which I worked on grant writing with other regional directors (that consists of my experience).


AP/IBs


GPA

3.3 unweighted


Standardized Testing

I also took some SATs and some subjects but my score was pretty low in those (I took them in 10th grade just to see my score and never took them again). 1070 for SAT and 400's (approximately) on the subjects.


Extracurriculars



Recommendations

Although I had a few bad experiences with some teachers I also had excellent experiences with others. In my junior year I was failing in AP microeconomics and got F's on all three unit tests for the semester. I thought I was going to drop out of the class but there was one way my grade could increase and that was through my final exam since my teacher said that my overall score in my final can replace my overall score for the class. I spent so much time with my teacher just to go over test corrections and stuff. I would be in her office during lunch, after school, and even my breaks. Whatever time I could find I would go to her and ask questions. Because of my teachers willingness to answer the countless number of questions I had, I was able to raise my grade from a F to a B and them later on to a A. I had a similar experience with my AP psychology teacher as well. Both of these teachers liked my work ethic and I believe this is what made my recommendation letters strong.


Essays



Strengths



Advice



Circumstances



Why?

Now for my uni choices I only applied to U.K schools at first because I thought it would be a bit easier since the requirements were already listed. The schools that I applied to were Oxford, UCL, Edinburgh, Kings, and LSE. I got a conditional offer to study economics and politics from Edinburgh. Now the reason why I chose to study economics and politics was due to the fact that I performed well in my AP microeconomics class. I always wanted to major in a STEM field when I was in high school, but the lack of support and success in my science classes really demotivated me to even apply towards a STEM major. After I got all my acceptances and rejections finalized I decided to take a gap year, but this is when I found out that UPenn has an online bachelors degree for working professionals. I realized that I am currently working for a non-profit that I love and decided that this would be the best program for my since I will be studying while also working on my career. So I decided to apply for the data analytics, mathematics, and leadership major that is offered and got accepted to study that. My essay was based on my overall schooling experience and how I combated and overcame the mindset that "if you fail on something you should just give it up" mindset. I did not apply to any schools in the U.S since I believed that I would not stand a chance for any school because of my extremely low GPA. I applied to NYU Abu Dhabi and CMU Qatar since my parents pressured me but I got rejected from there too. After doing some research I realized that my application might fall under the category of non-traditional student.


#UPenn #international

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