• Nora Sun

Tags: Brown

Institution: Brown University

Study: Major in public health or neuroscience

High School Experience

I went to a magnet high school about 20 minutes from me through an application process. I eventually ended up in a STEM-based program with the first two years exploring math, engineering, computer science, environmental science, biology, chemistry, and physics. Then the next two years, we go to choose what to “specialize” in. I really loved the interdisciplinary projects, where we had a blocked schedule. I would spend all of my morning classes working on one project, but with different perspectives. For example, I had a rover project to explore an unknown planet. In engineering, we designed the rover. In the sciences, we learned about the conditions of other planets. And in computer science, we coded for the rover to use different sensors and explore independently.

Course choices

I really liked statistics, life sciences, and social sciences. I ended up taking advanced sources in all of these fields to decide which one I liked the best.


I took 11 AP tests and 10 AP classes. In total, I took Government, US History, Computer Science A, Psychology, Biology, BC Calc, Statistics, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, and Chemistry. I got 5 5’s and 5 4’s, and I’m waiting on the score of the test I took this year.


4.0 unweighted, 4.76 weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1560

SAT Literature: 780

SAT Math 2: 780

SAT Biology: 720


I played viola and piano (10 and 15 years respectively).I was in my state level youth orchestra for 8 years and a string quartet for 6. I also tutored in a community organization for 3 years, and conducted 3 research internships with college professors and professionals.


I was extremely close with the teachers who spoke on my behalf in terms of colleges. They are people I consider to be my mentors and I plan to keep in touch with them for many years to come.


I wrote about my family history (my parents immigrating here), my love of music, and my plans to work in the healthcare community. I tied all three of these aspects together through narratives/anecdotes describing the parts of my life where these three overlapped.


I think I was lucky to be able to build a story through my application, extracurriculars, and courses. They all led to my future goals and why the schools I applied to were schools that would help me achieve these goals.


I’d say to do what you genuinely are passionate about. Cliche, I know. But if you do this, then everything in your application will point towards you, the way you think, and why you belong at that school. If you spend time padding applications or doing flashy extracurriculars, then it may come across as not genuine. And you may also feel like you’ve wasted the past x years of your life if you don’t get into that certain school. But if you do what you love, even if you don’t get into that school, you’ll have no regrets.




It is my first choice. The open curriculum is perfect in letting me take a unique approach to combining my interests and taking classes outside of my concentration. It just felt right and I absolutely fell in love with the school.


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