• Nora Sun

Tags: Duke

Institution: Duke University

Study: Major in biology or neuroscience

High School Experience

I went to a medium-sized private school in Maryland. I had a pretty good experience overall both socially and academically. There was a surplus of opportunities both inside and outside of school that I was able to explore. There were various AP/IB classes that students could take, so I enjoyed being able to take advantage of that. I had a pretty positive experience overall, except I wish that the college counselors pushed students more, especially when it came to the college process. Our school is not competitive, and very few students are accepted/attend “top” universities each year.

Course choices

I was very STEM focused throughout high school so I took many AP’s in science/ math courses, but I also took some AP classes in non-stem courses.


AP US History, AP Calculus, AP Biology, AP US Gov’t, AP Literature I, AP Literature II, AP Psychology, AP Spanish V, AP Chemistry, AP Statistics. AP Scholar w/ Distinction. So mostly 4s and 5s and a couple 3s.


4.57 weighted

Standardized Testing

SAT: 1500

SAT Biology M: 740


My main activity was speech and debate. I won regional, state and national awards. I also was a campus ministry leader. I created a mental health club, and had over 100 service hours.


My relationship was pretty good with my teachers who wrote my recs. I asked my Biology and English teachers. I had had my Bio teacher for two years and did well in her class both years while having a solid relationship outside of class. I was less close with my English teacher, but I did well in her class and we were cordial.


I mainly wrote about speech and debate and how that has shaped me into the person I am today. For me, it wasn’t just an extracurricular that got me medals and awards, but rather something that made me more confident and taught me the importance of words and what I have to say. I wrote about a variety of things including my identity as a Nigerian woman growing up in a predominantly white area and how I have learned to embrace my culture.


Work hard and don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Do not be afraid of failure. Instead use failure as an opportunity to work hard. Do not be discouraged if things don’t go exactly as planned, because in the end it will all work out. Make sure you don’t wait till the last minute to write essays, take tests, etc. Be on top of everything.





  • When I visited, the atmosphere was the best out of all of the other colleges I had visited (both the campus and the “vibe” of the school really fit my personality and what I wanted in a school.

  • It’s a reputable school, but it doesn’t have the cut-throat competitiveness that may be present in other “top” schools.

  • Great school spirit with an emphasis on collaboration

  • Not excessively far from home

  • Because of the curriculum, I feel like I can find what I’m truly interested in and want to specialize in

  • Not excessively far from home


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