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  • Nora Sun

Tags: Stanford, first generation, low income


Institution: Stanford University

Study: Major in electrical engineering and minoring in economics


High School Experience

I did not have a normal high school experience. I only attended high school for two years, which meant I had a heavier academic load than all of my peers. I attended summer school for two years, and had online classes before and after school in order to graduate on time. Nevertheless, I was able to participate in multiple clubs, made lots of friends, and competed in many competitions. Overall my high school experience was, although slightly stressful, quite exciting and a life lesson that allowed me to grow as an individual. I was able to accomplish all of the goals I had placed for myself which is what made everything truly worth it.


Course choices

I was interested in engineering and science courses. However, because I had to catch up in order to graduate I did not have a lot of space in my schedule. Fortunately, I was able to take a lot of mathematics and science courses, specifically physics.


AP/IBs

The AP courses I took were US History AP, Spanish 4 and 5 AP, English 3 and 4 AP, Calculus AB AP, Chemistry AP, Physics AP, and Macroeconomics AP. I did not have IB in my school so I took dual credit courses at the local college and U.T. Austin instead. Frankly, my AP scores are not very good, I have only passed three of the tests I have taken until now, but then again I only had one year to do them. I received a 5 on Spanish 4 and a 4 on Spanish 5 (I think that’s kind of funny), then I received a 3 on US History and a 2 on English 3. I am still waiting for the scores of the tests I just took, which make up the majority of them.


GPA

My Junior GPA was 3.85 my first semester and 4.05 my second semester out of a 5.0 scale.


Standardized Testing

SAT: 1300


Extracurriculars

I was mainly focused on science and math related extracurriculars during high school (I was mostly in these clubs for two years, some for slightly less). I was in Academic Decathlon, NHS, Student Council, Math Club, Science Club, Science Fair, High Q (High School Bowl), Robotics Club, Educational Talent Search Program. I was also the founder and president of Mu Alpha Theta, a math honor society.


Recommendations

My relationship was quite solid with these teachers. I always attempted to keep a professional relationship with all of my teachers. However, the two teachers I asked for recommendations knew my struggles and academic issues, which allowed them to appreciate even more what I had accomplished in such a short period of time.


Essays

My theme was about overcoming struggles and adapting to the new situations I face. This truly showed my ability to overcome any obstacle that comes my way.


Strengths

I am certain that what I have accomplished in such a short period of time is what allowed me to get into such prestigious institutions. Not only did I participate in many extracurricular activities, and caught up to my peers in only two years, but I was also able to graduate as valedictorian. Achieving these goals tested every fiber of my being and truly demonstrated how resilient I am.


Advice

There are way too many things to say. You can fill out all the check marks with extracurricular activities, gpa, high SAT, etc. Although, you can have all these things, you must remember that there are thousands of kids out there with the same stats, and that is what they are stats. To their core these institutions truly care about the individual, they want to pick the candidate that they know will be able to make it through their rigorous programs and hopefully change the world. Many obstacles will get in between you and your dreams and the only thing you must do is to keep moving forward.


Circumstances

Yes, I will be the first individual in my family to go to college, and I am also underprivileged.


Why?

I chose Stanford University because of its prestige, and value towards my future plans. I believe it has the tools and environment I need in order to grow both as an individual and professional.


#Stanford #Low_income #first_generation

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