• Nora Sun

Tags: Stanford

Institution: Stanford University

Study: Major in physics

High School Experience

I really enjoyed the relationships I was able to establish with students and teachers alike in high school. I am thankful for the lessons—both academic and moral—I learned from those who I interacted with on a daily basis. I really appreciate how there was constantly a positive environment where students were encouraged to challenge themselves and where growth was always fostered. What I did not like about high school was the unnecessarily copious amounts of work that teachers would assign, and the amount of time I would spend sitting in a classroom. I think much of my time spent in class was used inefficiently, and I don’t believe 8 hour days are necessary.

Course choices

I was always very much interested in the STEM field, so I tended to take courses related to that area, such as physics, calculus, and statistics.


AP World History (2018): 5

AP Chemistry (2018): 4

AP Physics 1 (2019): 5

AP English Language and Composition (2019): 5

AP Calculus BC (2019): 5

AP Calculus AB Subscore: 5

AP Statistics (2019): 4

AP United States History (2019): 5

AP Macroeconomics: unknown

AP Physics 2: unknown

AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism: unknown

AP Physics C: Mechanics: unknown

AP Environmental Science: unknown

AP United States Government and Politics: unknown

AP Human Geography: unknown

AP English Literature and Composition: unknown


4.0 unweighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1570

SAT Physics: 790

SAT Math 2: 790

SAT Math 1: 770


I participated in UIL Science, an academic competitive organization, and I was the team captain and the chair on the advisory board (3 years). I also was a drum major in marching band (4 years), the principal saxophonist in a concert band (4 years), and a 10-year pianist. I additionally participated in Operation Smile (a volunteer community outreach program for 2 years), French club (2 years), and Asian culture club (2 years).


My relationships with my teachers were very strong! I always made time to speak to them after class, and they really were always very warm and receptive.


I did not have any particular theme to my essays, but in general, I try to demonstrate my commitment to the activities I participated in, and tried to illustrate how my experience in leadership had developed my character.


I think my dedication to my leadership positions/extracurricular organizations and they lessons I learned from my experiences in them made me stand out.


I would advise others to participate in activities out of interest rather than participating in them to get into a good school. It is so much easier to immerse yourself in activities and thrive as a member/leader when you are interested in what you are involved in.


My minority status as an African American and my LGBTQ background may have impacted my college application.


I chose this university because of the academic prestige, the campus culture, the close-knit and diverse community, and the beautiful California location (of course!).


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