Princeton ‘22
B.A., Computer Science
Unhooked Asian girl from the Bay Area! Princeton CS '22
Features Included


Hometown San Jose, California
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Boston University (Boston, MA)
  • University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL)
  • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)

Applied for a B.A. in Computer Science

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Egg yolks, olive oil, yogurt and a tablespoon of honey. Light filtered in through the kitchen curtains, skeining my hands silver as I stirred these ingredients together, humming along to the rhythm of my whisk looping around the bowl. Water from my freshly washed hair dripped onto the linoleum tiles, punctuating the quietness of the early morning. Such a moment of peace, unfortunately, did not last long. When mixed thoroughly, the concoction shimmered a rich translucent gold. This was my...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
127 Words
What is it about Yale that has led you to apply? (125 words or less)
It was raining when I toured Yale and I had no umbrella. A student approached me with a smile and offered the extra plastic poncho she carried. Her kindness reinforced my initial impression of Yale—though the residential colleges may function as microcosms of its community, the university itself is a small-scale model of my ideal world. Additionally, with its emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration, the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is the perfect opportunity to synthesize my interests...
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
162 Words
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you. (About 150 words)
I write magical realist stories: sunflowers dripping lemon oil, summer scraping its whiskers against bare legs, prayers spiraling out of churches as rose-lit smoke. Although this genre is as otherworldly and vibrant as blue gardens or poetry, it’s nevertheless conceptualized in hard reality. Which is why, as a Mitra Scholar, I’m researching the historical genesis of magical realism in Latin America. Last summer I've database-dived for seminal works, interviewed cultural experts, and linguistically interpreted the glitzy prose of...
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
149 Words
If you could only do one of the activities you have listed in the Activities section of your Common Application, which one would you keep doing? Why? (Required for all applicants.)
On the first day of my internship, I spent hours on the microscope taking pictures of quantum dots, blissfully unaware that I was in fact peering at a particularly fluorescent patch of dust. Though such a mistake was the first of many, I make sure to never make the same one twice. I would like to indefinitely continue scientific research because it’s an exciting process of venturing into the unknown. This summer, I learned MATLAB to develop bioimaging software....
Supplemental Essay: Other
223 Words

List the books (if any) you've read this year for pleasure. Choose one and in a sentence describe its impact on you.
- Steve Jobs (Steve Jobs) - When Jobs talked about how a calligraphy course he took inspired the typography that was later carefully built into the Mac, I realized the full extent to which technology depends on non-scientific endeavors such as art, English, and philosophy to truly flourish. - The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt) - The Girls (Emma Cline) - Fault Lines (Nancy Huston) - War of the Foxes (Richard Siken) - Cien años de soledad (Gabriel García M...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
155 Words
Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated earlier in this application? If you are "undecided" or not sure which Brown concentrations match your interests, consider describing more generally the academic topics or modes of thought that engage you currently. (150 word limit)
The domestic cat, Felis catus, sparked my interest in English. In literature, I’ve noticed a clear link between felines and mortality. For instance: why do cats have nine lives? Why is the archetypal “cat lady” an elderly spinster? And why is Schrödinger's cat both alive and dead? Through my silly obsession with the house cat’s literary significance, I grew to love English for its intricacies and idiosyncrasies. Literature is a bridge across generational and geographic boundaries; its...
Supplemental Essay: Other
142 Words
Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held. (About 150 words)
My summers are divided into periods of writing and non-writing. I pursued my love for magical realism by creating an interdisciplinary portfolio of poetry, fiction, and humanities research that evaluates the socio-historical impact of this literary genre and its global contribution to literature. I also face-planted into beach sand after a disastrous handspring attempt, got hopelessly lost in Iowa’s clean-smelling corn fields, and learned how to write terza rima sonnets. I judged for the Venus Magazine Poetry Competition and...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
258 Words
What about being a student at Boston University most excites you?
As an engineering intern at Boston University under [REDACTED] last summer, I loved the opportunity to probe the cutting edge of single particle tracking with BU’s advanced research facilities. My project, which involved computationally analyzing the trajectory of fluorescent quantum dots in collagen fibers, was team-based and multi-disciplinary, predicated upon fields ranging from biology to physics to computer science. As such, I was able to interact and work with a dazzling array of individuals from different scientific backgrounds, united...
Supplemental Essay: Scholarship application
592 Words
The German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: “One cannot escape the world more certainly than through art, and one cannot bind oneself to it more certainly than through art.” With extended reference to one novel, poem, play, piece of music, or work of art, please discuss what you believe this sentence to mean.
Two Junes ago, I read Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club in some used bookstore that flaunted vintage Marilyn prints, gold-laced lamps, plum vinyl armchairs and the lingering residue of spilled soda. The novel I found was priced to some near-insignificant sum, the red half-off sticker partially obscuring its lotus-shaped title. Still, I spent a good three hours flicking through the pages, immersed in the sixteen interlocked narratives of four Chinese mothers and four Chinese daughters. Reading felt like...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
103 Words
Why Brown, and why the Brown Curriculum?
The Bruno Bear statue stands tall, indomitable, its bright bronze gaze forever fixated on the great unknown. Its attitude mirrors Brown’s relentless pursuit of the frontier of knowledge. With the Open Curriculum, I can bridge the societally-perceived divide between writers and programmers by supplementing a creative humanities concentration with logic-based electives in coding. In the meantime, I’ll fall in love by experimenting with bizarre classes like “Cult Archeology” or "Meditation"—the possibilities are limitless. Furthermore, English students at...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
101 Words
Tell us where you have lived - and for how long - since you were born; whether you've always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. (100 word limit)
Morristown, New Jersey defined the formative years of my life, and what shapes home in my memory is the constant tension between socioeconomic classes. Morristown’s public schools were newly-polished and well-funded, but the town’s crime rate far surpassed the state average. My immigrant parents lived in foliaged, red-bricked apartment complexes, squeezed next to homeless shelters and sheltered homes. Growing up, Morristown colored my perception of privilege when we later moved to San Jose, California. Silicon Valley is a...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
109 Words
List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community.(150 words or less)
Bubbling with quaint historical charm. Situated in a dynamic city. Foundational liberal arts curriculum backed by extensive research opportunities. Innovative. Quirky Tree Lighting and Yule Log traditions—who doesn’t love winter? A vibrant mix of backgrounds and ideologies. Always busy: something to do, to see, to be. Mysterious tunneling systems. An inclusive, supportive student body. Well-read. Interdisciplinary seminars. Bustling, populous, exciting—as the Chinese idiom goes, people mountain people sea. Opportunities in the literary arts. Supportive student advising. Challenging...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
169 Words
List the titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)
- The Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison) - A devastatingly gorgeous narrative. When I read about Pecola’s attempts to satisfy the Western beauty standards by praying for blue eyes, I remembered my mother sticking on double eyelid tape to look less Chinese. I definitely cried then. - The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) - Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools (Alfred Aho et. al) - “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” (Joyce Carol Oates) - “The Lottery” (Shirley Jackson) ...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
173 Words
List the titles of the print, electronic publications and websites you read regularly. (150 words or less)
- The Adroit Journal - Strong, eclectic aesthetic. Poems about ugly things told through pretty words, from cherry pits to phantasmic family reunions to glow-in-the-dark jellyfish. - PANK Magazine - Wired Magazine - The monthly technology update that covers both the science and the social impact of new phenomena. - The Claremont Review - The New York Times - Science Magazine - Quanta Magazine - TIME Magazine - I’ve looked forward to the rectangular red border in our mailbox...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
160 Words
List the titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)
- National YoungArts Week Writers’ Readings and Visual Arts Exhibition - Experience of a lifetime. Coming from STEM-obsessed Silicon Valley, I’ve never seen such wild enthusiasm for the arts until then. - [REDACTED] Artstravaganza Writers’ Readings - “Priceless Pork Belly” exhibit from the Asian Art Museum - IBM 1401 Demo Lab from the Computer History Museum - “Kahlo and Her Circle” gallery from the Museum of Fine Arts - Saturday Night Live (1975-) - Politically incisive yet relatable! So hilarious...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
312 Words
Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why. (300 words or less)
In this modern era of of convergence, English is powerfully relevant to every part of society today, from the philosophical to the engineering sector. Ensuring an interlinked education among different fields and encouraging interdisciplinary synergy is what differentiates Columbia College from other top colleges. In no other place would I find engineers enthusiastically contemplating the ethics of programming a pseudo-humanistic intellect, nor art historians debating the usage of image analysis algorithms to digitize centuries-old paintings. In Columbia, students eagerly bridge...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
602 Words
Describe two or three of your current intellectual interests and why they are exciting to you. Why will Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences be the right environment in which to pursue your interests? (Please limit your response to 650 words.)
Under the microscope, quantum dots are quite the vision. Picture a picture: sparkling red and green nanocrystals swirling busily across a dark glycerol square. At my research internship, I had the privilege to examine the diffusive movement of these glittery motes within collagen to computationally model its internal microarchitecture. Though my project drew from diverse scientific disciplines, from mechanical engineering to biology to physics, it was mainly predicated upon a foundation of computer science. Using MATLAB, I coded an algorithm...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
102 Words
While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, uttered this memorable line: ''It is, Sir…a small college. And yet, there are those who love it!'' As you seek admission to the Class of 2022, what aspects of the College’s program, community, or campus environment attract your interest?
As a programmer and a poet, I love to create. The Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement is thus the perfect opportunity to synthesize my interests in English and computer science. Additionally, with the uniquely flexible D-Plan and the College’s substantial undergraduate focus, I can’t wait to closely research the transnationalism of magical realist literature under Professor Sam Moodie. Dartmouth’s English Department stands out for its strength in both literary criticism and creative writing—I can engage my analytical...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
152 Words
If you are applying to the Pratt School of Engineering as a first year applicant, please discuss why you want to study engineering and why you would like to study at Duke. (Please limit your response to no more than 150 words.)
From wiring red-green-blue LED logic circuits on breadboards to implementing Pascal language scanners, computer science facilitates my obsession with building, designing, and improving the world around me. The Pratt School of Engineering thus appeals to me for two main reasons: its commitment to undergraduate research and its extensive CS curriculum. Image analysis research plays an integral role in my decision to pursue computer science, and is something I want to continue indefinitely. Through Bass Connections, I’d be able to...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
255 Words
Describe how you plan to pursue your academic interests at USC. Please feel free to address your first- and second-choice major selections. (250 word limit)
As an engineer and a writer, I love to create. There is as much an artistic infusion to coding as there is a rational progression to poetry, which is why the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, with its focus on cross-disciplinary connections, draws me in. Combined with Engineering+, USC truly emphasizes the renaissance value of exploring the full academic spectrum. I’m eager to delve into fascinating classes such as Video Game Design at the Viterbi School of...
Supplemental Essay: Other
254 Words
While the world as a whole may be more technologically advanced than ever before, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has outlined 14 Grand Challenges that engineers should focus on to improve life on the planet. Learn about the Grand Challenges at www.engineeringchallenges.org and tell us which challenge is most important, and why. (250 word limit)
Last summer I spent hours on the widefield microscope watch sparkling red quantum dots shift inside translucent collagen fibers. My purpose was to better understand the porosity of collagen, an integral parameter in synthetic tissue engineering. To capture single particle tracking data more easily, I created an algorithm in Matlab that can computationally analyze the confined trajectory motion of intermittently fluorescing particles, thus helping scientists gather more accurate information in less time. In this respect, I believe that engineering the...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
103 Words
Students at Yale have plenty of time to explore their academic interests before committing to one or more major fields of study. Many students either modify their original academic direction or change their minds entirely. As of this moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most comfortably?
Computer science is an artistic variation on problem solving, and I especially embrace the freedom in crafting code. There is a clean elegance in the theoretical basis of this field, yet computer science is also a vibrant mosaic of so many diverse disciplines, and I find comfort in this constant process of learning. In juxtaposition, I love English because it humanizes me. Analyzing generational works is a lesson in empathy and understanding. Creative writing is particularly appealing because it’s...
Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
40 Words
What inspires you?
There’s a potted catnip on my desk that I obsessively guard from my cat, who’s forever intent on chewing up the leaves. The plant’s mangled and mottled but the fact that it’s still alive is inspiring.
Supplemental Essay: Other
30 Words
Yale’s residential colleges regularly host intimate conversations with guests representing a wide range of experiences and accomplishments. What person, past or present, would you invite to speak? What question would you ask?
For writer Ning Ken: To what extent did your personal life contribute to your creation of chaohuan, or “ultra-unreal,” the literary genre that explores the absurdity of modern Chinese life?
Supplemental Essay: Other
11 Words
You are teaching a Yale course. What is it called?
print(“Hello, Writers’ World!”): Analyzing Language in Modern Prose and Code
Supplemental Essay: Other
32 Words
Most first year Yale students live in suites of four to six students. What would you contribute to the dynamic of your suite?
I’m the compulsive home decorator armed with succulents, fairy lights, and inspirational wall art who’ll remodel and optimize your living space each month. I also write love sonnets upon request.
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
317 Words
What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
Dabbling in creative writing the summer before junior year reoriented the trajectory of my life. Coming from a STEM-driven high school, I’ve never expected creative writing to be such a humanizing experience. It was a paradigm shift: learning to write instilled in me a love for gorgeous and insatiable narratives, as well as a drive to encapsulate what I find personally meaningful into words. Although I only started creative writing halfway through high school, I have achieved a great...
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
340 Words
Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
I view debate as a rapid-fire and intellectually engaging challenge. Ever since I first joined the team in freshman year, I’ve been giving rebuttal speeches, diving into research databases, and participating in tournaments that soon dissolved my fear of public speaking. However, I wasn’t naturally talented at extemporaneous argumentation, and while debate is the love of my life, it’s also a constant lesson in humility. In rounds, I’d wind up speaking overtime. I’d pilot an...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
282 Words
Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
Computer science intrigues me as both a vibrant mosaic of knowledge and a programming-oriented approach to design. I first began coding in middle school through Tumblr, a social blogging platform that allows for extensive webpage theme customization. Using languages such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript, I was able to create more visually aesthetic websites, with decorative details such as tiny cursors, embedded music players, calendar pages or even falling “snow." Although most individuals primarily value computer science for its problem-solving...
Supplemental Essay: Other
348 Words
Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?
I conducted an independent research project last summer at Boston University. My original goal was to better elucidate the internal porosity of collagen, a biological fiber that’s important to synthetic tissue engineering. By designing the experiment myself, with occasional input from my lab, I soon came to realize that scientific research is an open-ended process that, in some ways, resembles an art form more than a science. During the internship, I spun collagen fibers with fluorescent quantum dots and...
Supplemental Essay: Other
170 Words
Princeton University Short-Takes:
Your favorite book and its author: Home, Toni Morrison Your favorite movie: Spirited Away (2001) Your favorite website: http://emergencycompliment.com Two adjectives your friends would use to describe you: Hilarious, honest Your favorite recording: “He Paints Because He Likes It” - Kaffertorsk Your favorite keepsake or memento: A jar of caramelized banana jam that is the right shade of burnt amber. Your favorite source of inspiration: A potted catnip on my desk that I obsessively guard from my cat, who...
Supplemental Essay: Scholarship application
706 Words
Johns Hopkins University - Woodrow Wilson Research Fellow Program Application Essay
My short stories are infused with magical realism: scraggly sunflowers dripping lemon nectar, summer heat scraping its whiskers against bare legs like a cat, and prayers spiraling out of church spires as rose-lit smoke. I’m curious about this literary mode because it is so gorgeous yet so provocatively honest. Though it is as otherworldly and vibrant as blue gardens or poetry, in some ways, it’s conceptualized in reality. Which is why, as a Mitra Scholar, I’m researching...

School Specific Advice

Why I ultimately chose my school
655 Words
Upon making a college list, I wanted a balanced school where STEM isn't the overwhelming focus. That crossed off Stanford, MIT, Caltech, GaTech, etc. from my original college application list. I also didn't like large schools like Harvard or UCB, where the focus falls more on graduate students than the undergrads. Unfortunately, LACs weren't something that most people at my school applied to, so I didn't look there. Admittedly, I put very little research into making my list and picked schools based on hearsay from other people. I didn't bother to figure out the cons of each school I applied...
How I chose schools to apply to
90 Words
I chose to apply to Yale in part because of "That's Why I Chose Yale," and also because I heard that Yale tends to favor STEM applicants....
How I chose schools to apply to
99 Words
I chose to apply to Princeton because it has the most gorgeous campus, haha. It's also the only school out of HYPS that I could imagine myself choosing over Yale....

More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

How I narrowed down my essay topics
237 Words
8/29 Update: The egg essay was my first version of a personal statement that I sent off to safety schools - I sent a different one to Ivies / reach schools, which I won't be sharing since it's pretty unique to my own circumstances. School-specific essays were much, much easier since I reused a LOT of my essays, with various tweaks for each school. I really tried to portray myself as...
What set me apart from other applicants
121 Words
I think my extracurriculars set me apart, especially given my demographics (unhooked Asian-American, female, no legacy, from a hyper-competitive STEM-oriented private school in California). Although I applied CS to the majority of my schools, I had...
What I’d change about my application process
148 Words
Start early. Don't worry about where your classmates are early-ing to. Don't tell people where you're applying to - until maybe AFTER your decision. Choose your schools and majors strategically. Talk to your parents. Write multiple drafts of your essays. Ask your friends to...
Post-college plans
202 Words
Updated 12/15/2019: I was honestly torn between English and CS when I was applying to colleges, so I went for different majors to many of my RD schools depending on which program I preferred. For instance, I loved the Creative Writing program at Columbia College over its CS program in SEAS, but I couldn't pass up Princeton's CS program either....
How I made up for low grades in high school
73 Words
My grades weren't terrible, but they weren't at the tippy-top either. I definitely had a downward trend. I focused a lot on...
Misconceptions I had about college before attending
158 Words
Writing is a singularly useful skill - not just when it comes to college applications, but later on in life as well. In terms of college applications, you have to write not only persuasively but also creatively. Think about what sort of narrative you want your college...
My advice about getting recommenders
133 Words
Pick teachers who truly know you as a person. I picked my junior year H. English teacher, who has encouraged me to enter my creative writing to competitions and had also written me a recommendation for Iowa Young Writers'...
Recommended summer activities during high school and college
113 Words
Do what you love, love what you do. In my case, I had internships all three years of high school - freshman year at a CS history museum, sophomore year at a biocomputational lab,...
What I learned transitioning from high school to college
132 Words
Being in a completely new environment can be very tough; it's okay to take things slow. I just came out of senior year second semester (a notably senioritis-prone time), and I'm trying to pick up my motivation for things. I'm...
What I’d change about my application process
226 Words
Probably start my research earlier. I didn't know what colleges to apply to aside from the US News Top 20 Colleges and threw together a list willy-nilly. I would've spent more time looking into LACs, since I prefer a smaller, more undergraduate-focused college setting. Also wouldn't apply to so many safeties (UIUC, BU, UCLA, etc). I submitted all my RD schools along with my SCEA, which probably wasn't...
Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
98 Words
In junior year, I was selected as a National YoungArts Finalist in Writing (Short Story). I got a couple thousand dollars in scholarship money and was able to pay...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
(equivalent to 3.97 unweighted)
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School High at first but got worse
Explanation of Low Grades

Test Scores

Highest ACT
ACT Score Details
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details13 classes and scores



ActivitiesDebate Club/Team, Academic, Computer / Technology Volunteer, Research, Music: Instrumental
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received
Application Additional Materials

Similar Profiles

Princeton ‘20

Accepted to Princeton, Brown

Student at Princeton University
Princeton ‘18

Accepted to MIT, Duke, Dartmouth, Columbia, UT Austin, Rice, Brown, Yale, CMU, UPenn, Princeton

I like bread and robots and hiking and art and apparently polysyndetons.
Princeton ‘21

Accepted to Princeton, Arizona State, NAU

I am majoring in chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University.
Princeton ‘19

Accepted to Princeton, UVA, MIT, Stanford, CMU, Yale, Columbia

A math-loving girl from an average public high school, Princeton ORFE '19. I'm here to give you the advice that helped me get into all the schools I applied to!
Princeton ‘21

Accepted to Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Duke, UNC, Emory, GA Tech, Florida, Miami, UPenn, Bryn Mawr, JHU

Just a girl with a love for cookies, research, puns, and everything in between.