B.S., Astronomy and Astrophysics
Astronomy major minoring in linguistics with a love for literature. I'll gladly edit essays, give advice on whole process and answer questions about college life here!
Features Included


Hometown Santa Monica, California
AdmissionEarly Action
Class of2020
First Gen College StudentNo
English First Language No
Other Language(s) Spoken Mandarin, Spanish

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  • California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)

Applied for a B.S. in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Personal Statement
660 Words
Place you’re content
Like any other individual, I am content among my peers. However, “peers” does not simply refer to those in my grade or of my age; instead, they are the people who “never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn” with an insatiable desire for passion, compassion, and… (Kerouac) I used to believe peers were merely those who shared my thirst for understanding. Academic Competition, a class devoted to learning for the sake of knowledge, seemed nothing short...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
545 Words
Scientific exploration clearly excites you (otherwise you wouldn’t be applying to Caltech). What is it about Caltech’s opportunities and resources that will best fuel your intellectual curiosity and develop your passion for science, technology, math or engineering? (500) Via science, the world transforms into a place full of wonder and reason; things either make sense in fantastic ways or beg further research. I long for the best opportunity to cultivate my interest in STEM, especially across the physical sciences. ...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
397 Words
How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago. (500) At Disneyland, I struck up conversation with a UChicago alum; he said, “You’re reading Ibsen at the Tower of Terror—you’d fit right in.” While other places could conceivably facilitate my academic and social development, the opportunities at UChicago would optimize...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
377 Words
Share with us a few of your favorite books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, blogs, magazines, or newspapers. Feel free to touch on one, some, or all of the categories listed, or add a category of your own. (500) In my younger and more vulnerable years, I read the obligatory sci-fi and fantasy repertoire, from Dune to The Silmarillion. These amazingly complete universes each provided insight into humankind's potential ability, putting our existence into perspective....
Supplemental Essay: Strong beliefs/principles
101 Words
A close friend asked to “see” my homework; I said no. The true dilemma followed: how should my opinion of him change? Initially, I was shocked by his request, disillusioned by his dismissal of my subsequent reproach, and repulsed that even the people who earned my respect would sacrifice integrity for a mere ten points. Yet as time passed, I decided not to hold it against him. All people make mistakes. Perfection is an unreasonable standard; the world is not...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
224 Words
Saying "I'm weird" is not a unique statement, but no two people have the same idiosyncrasies. The application thus far has been relatively serious. While I am passionate about learning, teaching and science, focus should balance with fun. The following is a rehashing of anecdotes about me: I absorb trivia and memorize (understandably pointless) information for fun; for instance, I can write the periodic table (without masses) in 75 seconds, and know too much taxonomy. I'm the person who walks into...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
835 Words
In a famous quote by José Ortega y Gasset, the Spanish philosopher proclaims, "Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" (1914). José Quintans, master of the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago, sees it another way: "Yo soy yo y mi microbioma" (2012). You are you and your...? -Maria Viteri, Class of 2016 (500 recc) De niña, yo no era yo. Being myself was once difficult. I still constantly find myself mirroring others and adapting to the situation at hand. With...
Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
284 Words
Tell us about the most significant challenge you've faced or something important that didn't go according to plan. How did you manage the situation? (200-250) For a while, National Science Bowl epitomized failure. Firstly, I never answered questions despite knowing the answer, due to an irrational fear of being wrong. I convinced myself that someone else on the team knew better, unwilling to take the responsibility for success or failure. Secondly, losing was painful. As altruistic as others may consider...
Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
276 Words
____ students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. (250 word limit.) Many people deplore the idea of reading. However, whether for school or a hobby, it has had the greatest influence on my intellectual development. For a time, endless cycles of suffering and other weighty topics were an enigma; books brought up ideas that I was too immature to fully comprehend. For instance, Waiting for Godot featured characters whose problems...
Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
606 Words
“How do I get the answer to this?” is possibly the most frequently asked question of me. Frankly, I used to be annoyed that so many classmates—many whom I didn’t even know that well—would demand that I teach them how to solve a problem. Not until when I stood in front of my Calculus AB class earnestly explaining the relationship between Riemann sums and integrals, the chalk flying across the board and my verbal and visual skills...
Supplemental Essay: Other
249 Words
I read a lot of college essays, and most of them have the same problem. I get a lot of set-up. They describe the scene really well, e.g. if talking about climbing Mount Everest [an exaggerated example], they would write, 'the wind swirled around me. Snow was everywhere; the cold stung me to my core as I reached out towards my goal. My fingers stretched towards the summit, over the gaping chasm below' et cetera, and they build all...

School Specific Advice

What I like about my school’s location and culture
224 Words
I like the fact that I moved from the west to east cost. The culture in the community is fairly different, from crossing the streets when the sign says otherwise to a generally more hurried atmosphere. Here, the trees actually change color in the fall! The weather is surely something you’ll be cautioned against, but I don’t mind it. The change of pace is definitely...
The stress level and competitiveness of a typical student at my school
99 Words
MIT & Caltech sound like a hard places. And they are. But at the end of the day, it's as stressful as you make it for yourself. It's up to you...

More Essays

These essays haven't been tagged by school. Click school logos above to see tagged essays.

General Admissions Advice

How to increase chances at my school
563 Words
I read a lot of college essays, and most of them have the same problem. I get a lot of set-up. They describe the scene really well, e.g. if talking about climbing Mount Everest [an exaggerated example], they would write, 'the wind swirled around me. Snow was everywhere; the cold stung me to my core as I reached out towards my goal. My fingers stretched towards the summit, over the gaping chasm below' et cetera, and they build all this up, and then...they close with a sentence or paragraph of how life changing it was 'and I learned...
List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience
113 Words
An interview is not a scary thing. The interviews I had were fairly different. At MIT, I felt a little bit like I was regurgitating my application. At UChicago, I had an actual conversation,...
My advice about getting recommenders
538 Words
I had a lot of potential recommenders – like most everyone. There was my Chinese school teacher, my school teachers, my coach, etc. Ultimately, I had three – one from an 11th grade AP English teacher, one from my science bowl coach, and one from my math teacher of two years. My science bowl coach knew about how industrious I was; the English teacher provided a non-STEM picture of me, and my math teacher honestly didn’t know me very well outside of the classroom. All three wrote exaggeratedly wonderful letters, praising me far more than I deserve. (This is also part...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
Top 1%
High School TypePublic
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Steady
Explanation of Low Grades

Test Scores

Highest SAT
SAT Score Details
Converted SAT Score1590
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details11 classes and scores



ActivitiesQuiz Bowl/Academic Bowl, Science Club/Team, Tutoring/Mentoring

Experience & Awards

How Spent Summers
Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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