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  • Nora Sun

Tags: MIT


Institution: MIT

Study: Major in electrical engineering and computer science


High School Experience

I had an amazing time at my high school. I went to a relatively small school so it was easy to know everyone and develop good relationships.I loved the fact that it was a small community because opportunities were a lot easier to come by so I had a great time doing a couple of extracurriculars. The teachers were great and taught me everything I knew. The counselors were extremely friendly and guided me through my entire college application process, so that was awesome. To be honest, there's not many things I didn't like. I really enjoyed my time there.


Course choices

I've always been better at math and sciences so throughout my high school. I took a lot of AP science like Physics 1 and 2 and Chem and AP calc BC. For my humanities, I just took whichever class I needed to graduate. I never really invested too much time into challenging humanities courses.


AP/IBs

AP World, AP US History, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Chemistry, AP Calc BC


GPA

My school does a weighted GPA so it is possible to get GPAs above 100. I had something like 103 because I took a couple AP classes, which were weighted. and anything above an 100 is considered a 4.0.


Standardized Testing

I took the SAT 3 times. first time 1410 (640 english, 770 math), second time 1400 (620 english, 780 math), and 1460 third time (660 english, 800 math). I took physics subject test twice (first time 730, second time 770) and math subject test once (800).


Extracurriculars

I did science olympiad for 3 years starting in sophomore year. Fencing and table tennis for 3 years starting in sophomore year (became captain for both my senior year). I did some competing in clubs like physics bowl but never did good in them, and I did that since sophomore year as well. My junior year I got inducted into NHS and got voted as VP. I do regret not starting earlier in freshman year with these activities.


Recommendations

I don't have a very good relationship in the sense that they know me personally, but I've always done well in their class and participate. The one person that knew me personally was probably my counselor, just because I went to her almost everything when applying to the colleges.


Essays

For my big narrative essay, I wrote about my immigration past and how I've developed as a person throughout that process. I talked about how I learned english and overcame the language barrier (a bit of a cliche topic to be honest) but I also wrote about another aspect along with it, which was changing my physique (I was pretty chubby back then). Since I was applying to mostly engineering school, I remember one part of my essay talking about how I used my broomstick as a pull bar, and 2 chairs as dip bars, and how that was like me becoming an engineer without even realizing, just utilizing resources available to solve my problem. outside of the main narrative, I wrote almost all of them about the people around me and how they've shaped me. I wrote about my mother, father, friends, and teachers.


Strengths

I think what made me stand out is that I never explicitly showed how good I was at stem or engineering. I just shared my story that defined who I was and went with it. I know a lot of my friends in their supplements have talked about how science olympiad taught them the importance of team work and patience. I never talked much about my academics, but focused on stories or events that changed me, like me and my dad waiting in line for dim sum every Sunday morning and how that's made me realize the importance of patience.


Advice

My advice is to be enthusiastic, positive and build relationships with everyone you meet, from your coaches to the administration, to teachers to whoever. Also do everything in anything that you’re interested in, if you really like it, you’ll make the time to do it, and it’ll show on your application.


Circumstances

I applied through a QuestBridge program called national college match that was specifically offered to low income first generation students. I think that part of my story of just me learning all the things without the help of my family like some of my other friends, may have helped with the college decision a little, but I wouldn't really know to be honest.


Why?

I'm going to be honest here, MIT has been my dream school since middle school and I feel extremely lucky to have been admitted to it. I just know that it's one of the best engineering schools in the world so that was a good enough reason for me. I never really considered other factors like financials, location, and academic experience. I've never even visited it even after I got admitted, but knowing it's one of the best and hardest schools to get in to just drives me towards it.


#MIT

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