UC Berkeley
B.A., History
Avid traveler, video gamer, reader, and History geek. UC Berkeley '21 (History/Political Economy double major, Pre-Law)
Features Included


Hometown Arcadia, California
Class of2021
First Gen College StudentNo
English First Language Yes
Other Language(s) Spoken French, Mandarin

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • University of California - San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
  • Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
  • New York University (New York, NY)
  • Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
  • Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  • Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA)
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • University of California - Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • University of California - Davis (Davis, CA)
  • University of California - Irvine (Irvine, CA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

Applied for a B.A. in History

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

I wrote to create perfection--both in me and in the world around me. As a child, I was often left to my own devices while my immigrant mother juggled university classes and a waitressing job. To pass the time, I devoured the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie--mysteries captured my imagination--and mimicked their intricate plots in my Hello Kitty notebook, where they’d be edited and proofread until deemed worthy for narration in front of my audience...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
400 Words
Why not? Why wouldn’t I want to attend a top school located in the heart of NYC? The College of Arts and Sciences’ College Core Curriculum is the blueprint of my ideal education; an institution that actively works to facilitate the values of thoughtfulness, critical thinking, and analysis. NYU also has a great collection of academic resources, such as the renowned Tamiment Library; I can spend hours researching radical politics and civil rights movements, both of which are relevant...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
636 Words
I recall my first time traveling abroad without my parents--or anyone I knew, really. I had enlisted with GlobalWorks, an organization that sends small groups of teenagers all over the world to perform service learning while experiencing new cultures. The idea seemed rather stereotypical--privileged American youth going off to help the masses--but my excitement to travel (to see the world past the barrier of tourist traps and shiny hotels!) outweighed my fear of being branded a stereotype. On the first...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
148 Words
150 word limit, how I spent past 2 summers The summer before junior year, I took two classes (AP Psychology and Chemistry) and spent about half of August backpacking through Japan. I made a wish at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo; bathed in natural hot springs and gazed at Mt. Fuji in Hakone; splurged on Kobe beef in the namesake city of Kobe; fed deer (and almost got bitten!) in Nara; revelled in Kodai-ji Temple’s nighttime light show in Kyoto. This past...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
346 Words
Once I set a goal for myself, I strive to both achieve and surpass it. The most acute example of this is my penchant for advanced computer game strategies and competitions. I discovered League of Legends the summer before high school and was immediately humbled by the game's complex mechanics and steep learning curve. Although many people pursue video games for unproductive reasons such as escaping their real-life responsibilities, I saw gaming as an instrument to develop skillsets such as...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
285 Words
I am a traveler, of both geography and time. My adventures began at age three, when I was shipped off to stay with my grandparents in Harbin, China. Every Saturday, my grandfather and I would stroll through Zhongyang Dajie or explore St. Sophia Cathedral, flush with Russian architecture and tumultuous history. Although never formally educated, my grandfather would do his best to read museum placards and placate my endless barrage of questions; in my eyes, Laoye was the smartest man...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
241 Words
Name your favorite books, authors, films, and/or artists. (50) Books: On Writing, Gone Girl, Tristan and Isolde, The Kite Runner, A History of the American People, Count of Monte Cristo Authors: Agatha Christie, Paul Johnson, Leo Tolstoy, Arthur Conan Doyle Films: Her, Saving Private Ryan, Kubo and the Two Strings, Forrest Gump Artists: Roy Lichtenstein, Miguel Blay, Edward Hopper What newspapers, magazines, and/or websites do you enjoy? (50) Newspapers: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Arcadia Weekly Magazines:...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
297 Words
Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate -- and us -- know you better. (100-250) Dear Roommate, You don’t know me yet, but that’s okay--I know we’re going to have so much fun in our next four years at Stanford. But before we meet in the fall, I wanted to give you some insight into who I am. ...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
357 Words
From a very young age, books were my solace. I started at my small local library, checking out three dozen books on Saturday, finishing them all by Sunday, and revisiting my favorites throughout the week until Saturday happily came around again. After devouring the humble selection offered by my local library, I cajoled my mother into driving an extra hour every weekend so I could start chipping away at the neighboring town’s larger collection. My life was divided into...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
329 Words
Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why. (300) (300 Words) When I got a Columbia Blue viewbook in the mail, I didn’t know what to expect. Photographs of Columbia’s stunning campus immediately caught my eye, but the Core was what ultimately captured my mind. As a History major, I’m excited for Contemporary Civilization’s studies of Plato, Machiavelli, the Bible, and Qur’an--while I may not agree with all of the ideas presented, learning how...

School Specific Advice

How to increase chances at my school
86 Words
Above all else, WashU values demonstrated interest. Because they don't require any essays, they get a lot of kids applying every year "just because". So to...
How to increase chances at my school
112 Words
The UCs generally prioritize GPA/test scores/grades over essays. However, holistic reviews are increasingly popular (Used at Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, and maybe more), so polish those essays! For my 4 essays, I wrote about:...
Why I ultimately chose my school
121 Words
I was rejected from or waitlisted by most of my reaches and "dream" schools, and honestly I just went for the cheapest and most prestigious option. I was lucky to get accepted to all the UCs...

More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

How to approach transferring schools
66 Words
Honestly, if you're unsure about the future or have money problems, instead of taking out huge student loans or regretting...
Post-college plans
107 Words
Plans change, a lot. Don't be too set on your future career or grad school ambitions, because people change as well. You might take a philosophy course and emerge enlightened, or spend...
My advice about getting recommenders
93 Words
Get to know 2-3 teachers junior year -- your favorite subjects, or just classes you put a lot of effort in. Even if you have a B or...
Recommended summer activities during high school and college
85 Words
Apply for prestigious programs (TASP, for example -- but none of the $4000 Harvard/Stanford/Princeton ****, only go for programs that are merit-based and...
What I’d change about my application process
64 Words
START. EARLIER. Really. It seems obvious, but seriously do not procrastinate. And it's fine to copy skeletons of essays ...

High School Performance

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ActivitiesFrench Club, Quiz Bowl/Academic Bowl, Tutoring/Mentoring, Clean Ocean Beach Sweeps / River Cleanup, Community Cleanup / Service, American Red Cross, Nonprofit, NGO or Charitable Organization
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

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