B.S., Biology
Optimist, dancer, artist, & biologist. EDed NU.
Features Included


Hometown Shanghai, China
Class of2023
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of California - San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)

Applied for a B.S. in Biology

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Heavy cream and powdered sugar. With the 8:1 ratio that I had experimented to fit my preferences, these simple ingredients form the recipe for whipped cream. Attempting to soothe my persistent craving for sugar, I was determined to follow my adapted strawberry layer cake recipe—excluding the strawberries and cake. Admittedly, I was whisking together an entire bowl of cream for myself. As dense cream gushed into the bowl, the dust of sugar powder sifted through my sieve, blanketing the cream...
Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
As the youngest in my dance family for most of high school, I had countless older siblings who inspired me with their use of dance for fun, catharsis, and communicating ideas. When I explored the passions of my older sisters in their dances, I was motivated to choreograph, teach, rehearse, and perform my own Passion pieces, battling Squirtle as Bulbasaur in Pokémon fights and fighting racial oppression by connecting Maya Angelou’s spoken word with our movements that gradually...
Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
A few years ago, amidst an afternoon where I wasn’t feeling my best self, I took a walk in my neighborhood to reflect upon my stresses. Suddenly, a small caramel pug raced across my path, and I braced myself for an impending attack. The puppy, full tongue out, tail wagging, started licking my shin and jumping up on me. My cheeks warmed and a smile spread across my face. Sometimes, it’s small moments like these that become genuinely...
What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
As I finally biked downslope with the wind tossing back my hair, a feeling of thrilling gratification overcame me. It was only that morning during sophomore year that I had struggled to even start pedaling, immediately losing balance every time I climbed onto the bike seat. As this was during a school trip, my classmates had already biked out of sight while I was stuck going up the first hill with the teachers in a truck staying right behind me....
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?
My response for my chemistry teacher's question regarding how many elements exist, to which I blurted “an infinite!”, incited some polite chuckles. When 118 was concluded as the acceptable answer, I felt my cheeks turn pink at my unexpected lack of prudence. However, reminded of my mother’s radiant and contagious admiration of Marie Curie, the revolutionary female scientist who discovered Radium and Polonium, I remained hopeful in my original answer. As my biology teacher would always say that hypotheses could...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
305 Words
Other parts of your application give us a sense for how you might contribute to Northwestern. But we also want to consider how Northwestern will contribute to your interests and goals. In 300 words or less, help us understand what aspects of Northwestern appeal most to you, and how you'll make use of specific resources and opportunities here.
The screen was black and the dancers hadn’t moved a muscle, yet the Northwestern audience screamed from my earphones for minutes. Watching Refresh Dance Crew’s videos, I experienced a familiar surge of adrenaline and exhilaration that evoked a recollection of my dance experience on stage where my audience’s support brought out the best of my abilities. When the lights opened, the Northwestern dancers absorbed their peers’ infectious spirit and radiated their own energy. However, the Wildcat spirit...
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
249 Words
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.
Although APAC Dance and Dance Society are separate activities, they complete a full-year cycle of dance known as the “year-long dance season.” While APAC training strengthens skill, Dance Society’s Passion showcase allows for creativity and expression. Being the youngest in my dance family for most of high school, I had countless older siblings who inspired me with their use of dance for fun, catharsis, and communicating ideas. As I explored the passions of my older sisters in their dances,...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
252 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)
Although biology has always been the subject I enjoy the most, my interest in biological science stems deeply from the breast cancer and ovarian cancer that took away my grandmother. Though she always managed to maintain a strong composure around me, I grew frustrated and pained in the fact that I was essentially powerless in helping her defend against her cancer. In my college experience, I hope to be able to engage in hands-on research that can be applied directly...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
250 Words
What is something about yourself that is essential to understanding you?
As the youngest in my dance family for most of high school, I had countless older siblings who inspired me with their use of dance for bonding and communicating ideas. However, when 90% of our dancers left last year after graduating, I was left holding the torch singlehandedly as the oldest dancer left. I was terrified for my dance community, yet a quiet crowd of new dancers emerged. Tackling my responsibilities head on, I helped strengthen the technique of my teammates...

School Specific Advice

What set me apart from other applicants
332 Words
I went to an art boot camp in New Jersey during the summer where I prepared a visual arts portfolio in hopes to use this in my application to give me a boost in the extracurricular/talent sense, which most schools like. Since I applied Early Decision to Northwestern University, and I already knew I wanted to do so at the end of summer/start of senior year, I did a lot of research on their website, only to find out that they "do not accept unsolicited supplementary material" of any kind. My hope was almost shattered, until I reread...
How I chose schools to apply to
193 Words
If you love Northwestern, and you would attend if you got accepted, applying Early Decision is definitely the way to go. Northwestern accepts half of their incoming class from the Early Decision pool, meaning their acceptance rate for ED applicants are significantly higher than for RD. Though this is mere speculation, Northwestern is probably strategizing so that...
How to increase chances at my school
89 Words
Definitely apply for the scholarship for USC, which has a due date at December 1st. It's a good way to get another app out of the way...
How I chose schools to apply to
112 Words
To save money, I would definitely only apply to the UC schools that you know you would be willing to attend if you were accepted. I knew that I really loved UCLA because of...
Reaching out to professors and coaches at schools I applied to
182 Words
For the emails I sent to my International admissions officer at Northwestern, I was careful not to come off too much as if I was trying to flatter him/Northwestern (using appeals that may come off as pretentious), and I stayed true to my character. When you're emailing an admissions officer, my advice would be...

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
109 Words
At the start of my brainstorm for personal statement topics, I started by taking ten minutes to jot down whatever areas of interest I had in mind: personal values, accomplishments, passions. It's important...
How to deal with the stress of applying to college
272 Words
Personally, I didn't have too much stress applying to college because my timeline for applications was very spread out and I had already finalized my college list at the start of senior year. This meant that my EDs and RDs were both stuck in stone and I just had to write the essays and fill out the Common App, and I did both of those relatively early because of how much time I had after deciding on which schools to...
My insights about AP (Advanced Placement) courses and exams
227 Words
For AP US History, I received a whopping 2: not because I didn't study, but because I didn't study properly. Though AP requires a lot of memorization, it's important to hit all of the small details and make sure you know how to synthesize and apply your knowledge in terms of free response and essay questions. The problem with my studying technique for APUSH was that I only memorized...
Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
173 Words
If you have an admissions counselor from your school, it's enough. You don't need to and shouldn't pay extra money elsewhere for other counselors. I had many friends who did do so, and they ended up doing 10 times more work (one of my friends changed essay topics 8 times, and wrote 3+ drafts of...
My advice about getting recommenders
231 Words
For picking teachers, try to pick teachers who can provide different images of yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for a teacher who you've received a lower grade from, especially if you put in extra work to improve during the course. For me, I was really good at biology and my biology teacher (who I had for general biology as well as AP Biology) loved me because of how...
How to deal with the stress of applying to college
114 Words
If there are general supplemental prompts (not the "Why (school name)" ones) that are similar between the different schools you're applying to, commonly ones such as prompts based around extracurricular activities, or things you're...
My insights about the IB (International Baccalaureate) program
205 Words
Though I only took one IB course, many of my friends took the IB Diploma program. I would not recommend doing so if you don't like writing (IB requires a ton of writing compared to AP) and putting in time for other assignments and activities outside of class, because the extra IB work yields results that are quite minimal since colleges see...
Recommended summer activities during high school and college
267 Words
Definitely do something meaningful during your summers, be it internships or summer institutes at prestigious universities. I have many friends who went to internships that completely changed their opinion on what they wanted to study (after gaining experience in what the field actually looked like) or ended up falling in love with something new that they tried out and are planning to pursue that field in college. Summer institutes can also help you improve your skills in a hobby or...
What I’d change about my application process
155 Words
This is more so about what I'd change with my time as a high schooler, rather than with the application process. The one thing I would change about how I spent my time would to spend less time studying for standardized tests (SAT1 and 2) and more time...
Post-college plans
120 Words
Though I haven't even gone to college yet, I'm excited for what's to come. It's important to keep an open mind with what you're going to be pursuing in college and post-college. Remember, the average American...

High School Performance

Unweighted GPA
Top 25%
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest SAT
SAT Score Details
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details4 classes and scores



ActivitiesDance, Dance, Art, Science/Math, Nonprofit, NGO or Charitable Organization, Prom Committee
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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