• Nora Sun

Tags: UC Berkeley, first generation

Institution: UC Berkeley

Study: Major in political science

High School Experience

I overall liked my high school experience because I felt like I balanced academic and social life well. I had new friends each year but stuck with my old friends too. I did well in my classes because I stuck to subjects I liked rather than trying to gain AP credits in classes I didn’t like. I don’t have many regrets for high school looking back on it right now.

Course choices

I mainly enjoyed english and history, specifically history. APUSH, AP Psych, AP Lang and AP Gov were some of my favorite classes from high school.


I took AP Art History, AP Lang, APUSH, AP Psych, AP Spanish 4, AP Lit, AP Stats, AP Gov, AP Macro Econ, and AP Bio. I got a 5 on AP Art History, APUSH, and AP Lang and a 4 on AP Psych. The rest haven’t come out yet.


4.6 weighted

Standardized Testing

ACT: 32


I did MUN for 4 years and was a senior teacher during my senior year. I was president of Doctors of Tomorrow, Environmental Advocacy Team and a member of Red Cross, Girls in STEM, NHS, CSF, and an English peer tutor for my freshmen year english teacher. Outside of school, I was in a charity league called Lionsheart and volunteered with an org called Fristers and went to Tijuana once a year to volunteer at a local orphanage. I also did a pre med summer camp at Berkeley my sophomore year.


I got LOR from my freshmen english teacher and junior APUSH teacher because I had really strong relationships with them. I was a peer tutor for my freshmen english teacher both junior and senior year and I was a senior teacher for my junior APUSH teacher (who is also my MUN Advisor) during my senior year.


I didn’t have a general narrative besides growth I guess. I wrote about self confidence issues, health struggles I had sophomore year, my volunteer work in Tijuana, and being a senior teacher for MUN/peer tutor for english.


I think what made my application stand out was probably that I pursued things I was passionate about rather than what was the most prestigious or impressive on paper. I also think I had really great personal and academic growth throughout my 4 years which showed that I wasn’t afraid of failure and could bounce back from it and do better and learn from it. To be honest, I don’t know what was that special about my application.


Do what makes you happy as cliche as that sounds and don’t worry about what colleges or anyone else will think of it. As long as you are pursuing your passions you will achieve success. Also, be proactive early on and have a plan for your studies and life. Don’t waste a summer doing nothing, spend it building your passions or your resume!


I am a first generation student from 2 Iranian immigrant parents but I live in a pretty affluent city in OC so I don’t think i really had any of those aspects on my side.


I chose Berkeley because it has been my dream school since freshman year after my own english peer tutor was accepted and I looked into the school my role model would be going to. After my summer camp there I fell in love with the campus and now this year after attending the BMUN conference and gaveling I love it even more and can’t see myself anywhere else for 4 years. Also, I obviously adore the reputation Berkeley has a school that houses social justice warriors and activists that will graduate from the school more open minded and empathetic to world issues.

#UC_Berkeley #first_generation

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