• Nora Sun

Tags: Brown

Institution: Brown University

Study: Major in chemistry and bioinformatics

High School Experience

I enjoyed learning about a variety of subjects at an advanced level, especially from a teacher who I could tell truly cared about teaching the course. However, the lack of academic resources greatly bothered me; I found that students were often left to their own devices to find internships and other opportunities in their desired fields of study. High school also seems to be extremely competitive in the context of college admissions, with students doing whatever it takes to get into their dream school even if they aren’t passionate about it.

Course choices


For APs, I took computer science, world history, US history, chemistry, english language/composition, english literature/composition, physics C mechanics, and calculus BC. For those of which I’ve received scores, I scored a 5.


3.9 unweighted, 4.65 weighted

Standardized Testing

I scored above 1500 on the SAT, with a score of 800 in both the chemistry and math 2 subject tests.


I participated in many academic extracurriculars, including medical research (2 years), debate (3 years), science olympiad (2 years), robotics (3 years), and the science national honor society (2 years). Although I joined many of these clubs later into high school, I enjoyed all of them greatly and earned leadership positions in each.


My relationship with the teachers who wrote my recommendations was very close, both inside and outside of class. We often had inside jokes and I visited them frequently after school or during club meetings which they sponsored.


In each of my essays, I tried to tell a story which connected myself to the prompt. I strove to show the admissions office both the experiences that developed my interests/beliefs and how they did so.


I believe that creative essays, unique experiences in a niche sport, and a wide range of extracurricular experience with a spike in my intended major all contributed to my strength as an applicant.


When writing essays, try to find what makes you exceptionally unique. Is there any experience you’ve had that very few others have? Or how did you uniquely interpret a common experience? If you have a hook, use it! Also, when considering extracurricular activities, while it’s good to be a well-rounded applicant, it’s better to have a visible spike of passion in a certain area as well. Finally, don’t do something in college admissions just because everybody else is. If you find yourself joining an activity simply because you think it’ll increase your chances at college admissions, you shouldn’t be joining it! Colleges can tell what you are and aren’t excited about, so only commit to what you truly love!




This university was my first choice. When I first stepped on campus, it just felt right; I don’t know how to describe it. Otherwise, the curriculum, professional growth potential, location, and student environment were major draws.


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