Cornell ‘23
B.S., Biology
Small town girl from NJ with no major awards but a lot of heart and dreams.
Features Included


Hometown Park Ridge, New Jersey
AdmissionAccepted From Waitlist
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Boston University (Boston, MA)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
  • Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
  • Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
  • Williams College (Williamstown, MA)
  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology  (Rochester, NY)
  • University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

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.
I cried while taking my first steps. The cold sand of Point Pleasant beach meddled between my toes, intrusive and unwelcome. I demanded to be held, but my parents stood back, choosing to let me experience this moment alone. Though a graceless taste of independence, my first steps were that and so much more. I felt the Earth on my own for the first time; my love for discovery, unknown to me then, would be unraveled in time. My unwavering...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
253 Words
What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 word limit)
Embracing science as an ever-evolving field, Boston University encourages exploration outside of the classroom — most notably, outside of the Metcalf Center. In the name of science, Terriers take “Smashing Pumpkins” to levels beyond rock music for their annual BU Pumpkin Drop. Besides the prospect of dropping pumpkins, I want to join the Terrier family, for I am eager for BU’s spirit of inquiry to manifest in my future research on the human brain. Assisting senior residents diagnosed with Alzheimer...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
266 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)
Pins and thread graced the cover of Dornsife’s The Healing Process, and upon first glance I did not think twice. It was not until I learned that the pins and thread recreated “Yogurt and Granola”, a photograph captured by USC artist Alana Barrett using a camera and microscope, that I began looking closer. “What do we not always see?”, the magazine solicits in its promotion of health through the lens of art. Continuing to read, I then envisioned myself...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
264 Words
USC believes that one learns best when interacting with people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Tell us about a time you were exposed to a new idea or when your beliefs were challenged by another point of view.
As two of four minorities in our grade, Yvonne and I were molded to the word "other". Our stories were not ones most of our peers were willing to learn, but rather an ‘other’ too foreign to make immediate connection. Music was my counterbalance – the release of the noxious words that would have otherwise been mistaken as oxygen. As we shared harmonies, I believed it too was Yvonne’s counterbalance. One of two African-Americans in the class, she experienced ignorance,...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
507 Words
Tell us about something that really sparks your intellectual interest and curiosity and compels you to explore more. It could be an idea, book, project, cultural activity, work of art, start-up, music, movie, research, innovation, question, or other pursuit.
One June afternoon, I became a music teacher. For the culmination of my AP Music Theory class, my final project was to lead a lesson on one specific musical technique. I chose counterpoint: the musical combination of two distinct melodies, independent in rhythm and contour. Together through counterpoint, two voices can coexist in harmony – no matter how unconventional of a pair they make. To begin my lesson, I played my own counterpoint. Taking the first verse and chorus of “This...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
664 Words
How have your experiences influenced your decision to apply to the College of Human Ecology. How will your choice of major impact your goals and plans for the future?” (Please limit your response to 650 words.)
In the spring of 2017, I made the transition from overweight to normal weight, losing forty pounds while gaining my confidence in the process. I learned self-care after two years of mindful-eating, running, and cooking— challenges that metamorphosed into passions of mine. Seeing physical change was rewarding, but as I felt more energy day-to-day, I began to feel powerful for the very first time. Realizing my own potential, I then strived to empower my own community. Playing a grand piano, I...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
146 Words
What motivates you to learn? (150 word limit)
I once believed knowledge was built brick-by-brick, eventually to become complete. Harboring this belief, I viewed learning as a means to an end. As one of two Asian-Americans in my class, I believed I fully understood the heart of my best friend Yvonne, one of two African-Americans. When I witnessed her heart open for people who once touched, sometimes pulled, her “cool” hair, I realized that a shared minority distinction did not render us same. Her heart, veined with complexities,...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
149 Words
What do you want to bring from your community to the Emory University community? (150 word limit)
As one voice in a small choir, I have grown attentive to subtleties. Whether it is a vowel that must be taller, or articulation that must ring clearer, subtleties can both build or collapse the sound of a small choir. In spite of this risk, my choir tackles pieces of every style and language; performing gospel, to Baroque and Ladino, my choir must balance all forms of musicianship, no matter how minute, while also maintaining vocal integrity. At Emory, I...
Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
427 Words
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (150-400 words)
"You wanna know how to make that green? You gotta be assertive.” Seven seconds of silence passed; I stretched my neck, looking closer into the stage from my view at the theater balcony. Did Green just miss his stage cue? Directing a play was my venture into the unknown. In my second year of theater, my best friend Noah asked me to direct his original play “True Colors” for our school’s annual one-act play festival. Honored, I took on...
Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
141 Words
First Word: Inquisitive Second Word: Vocal Third Word: Unapologetic What is your favorite snack? Tteok (glutinous Korean rice cakes) Favorite app/website: iMovie Best movie of all time: La La Land (There's no coincidence that it takes place in USC territory -- the city of stars!) Hashtag to describe yourself: #NoLIMits Dream job: Physician/Video Journalist (all-in-one) What is your theme song? "Let Me In" by Grouplove (This is the actual theme song of the newsshow I run: "Owl Witness...

School Specific Advice

How to increase chances at my school
22 Words
Pour your heart into your essays, use...
How to increase chances at my school
83 Words
Honestly, I was super happy with my application to WashU. A small part of me thinks that I may have been offered admission if I...
What might make for a good “Why Us” essay topic at my school
88 Words
As you might notice, I put a lot of research into BU and laid out for them my future at BU and what kinds of things...
How to increase chances at my school
83 Words
Okay, this essay was very unconventional as an extracurricular essay-- but I honestly thought I'd get rejected from Vanderbilt. Take this essay with a...
Additional material sent in after waitlisted or deferred
19 Words
UPDATE: I got off the...

More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

Misconceptions I had about college before attending
188 Words
WELL-ROUNDED: I am a well-rounded applicant, not a spiked one. This gave me a lot of anxiety going into apps, but well-rounded is not a bad thing as long as you are passionate and self-driven. Don't tailor your application to being "spiked" if you are not truly passionate in that which you are said to...
What I’d change about my application process
264 Words
1. EARLY ACTION: I. only. applied. to. U. Chicago. Early. Action. This was really dumb because I was deferred, and until March 14th, I had been accepted NOWHERE. If I could time travel, I would have EA'd Rutgers, Fordham, Boston College, Georgia Tech, and more safeties. 2. DEMONSTRATED INTEREST: I didn't know the importance of this. Schools like WashU, Northwestern, and Notre Dame definitely give students a leg up for visiting campus and EVEN when students take initiative to...
Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
104 Words
Full tuition at BU and USC, National Semifinalist for Elks MVS. For BU, I got a full-tuition scholarship that accounted both merit and need. For USC, I got a 1/4 tuition scholarship...
Recommended summer activities during high school and college
118 Words
SUMMER BEFORE JUNIOR YEAR: I started my internship this time. I think internships, research, or other meaningful projects (i.e. teaching yourself a new language, learning how to code, taking care of others) can be...
My insights about AP (Advanced Placement) courses and exams
231 Words
Going into junior year, I set myself up for the expectation of all 5s, and nothing under. Come testing time (mid-April), the pressure really got to me! What I would change about my studying (especially for Bio) is gearing my cramming more towards understanding big ideas rather than memorizing facts. Because I focused on the wrong thing, I got the score I deserved even in spite of the hours...
How I narrowed down my essay topics
132 Words
COMMON APP: This was by far the most challenging essay to write (and it's the first one you should tackle!). I narrowed down my essay topics by writing a stream of consciousness (objects that are important to me, important...
My advice about getting recommenders
78 Words
ASK YOUR TEACHERS BEFORE JUNIOR YEAR ENDS. Send them a resume/brag sheet in the middle of the summer as a ~subtle~ reminder...
How to deal with the stress of applying to college
107 Words
To be honest, I was super stressed throughout my application process. However, I managed to have fun by being myself. For my Why USC supplement, for example, I took the risk of...
What set me apart from other applicants
30 Words
I faced a lot of rejection, but hey— I...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
(equivalent to 4.00 unweighted)
Top 5%
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest SAT
SAT Score Details
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details8 classes and scores



ActivitiesMusic: Vocal, Music: Vocal, Theater/Drama, Theater/Drama, School Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism, Student Council / Government, Career Oriented

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received
Application Additional Materials

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