Currently I go to The Buckley School near Los Angeles, California. When I applied, my cumulative weighted GPA was 4.5, and my SAT superscore was 1590. I took the SAT twice, once in March of my sophomore year, and the second time one year after. Over the course of my high school career, I took a total of eleven AP tests: French, Chinese, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, English Language, English Literature, Studio Art 2D Design, Studio Art Drawing & Painting, Physics C Mechanics, Physics C Electromagnetism and Psychology. I took classes for all of them at school other than Chinese and 2D Design.
目前我在加州洛杉矶附近的一所高中 The Buckley School上学，当我申请的时候，我的累计加权GPA是4.5，SAT成绩是1590。我参加了两次SAT考试，一次是在10年级的三月，第二次是在一年后。在我的高中生涯中，我一共参加了11门AP考试：法语、汉语、微积分AB、微积分BC、英语语言、英国文学、Studio Art 2D Design、Studio Art Drawing & Painting、物理力学、物理电磁学和心理学。除了汉语和2D设计，其他课程都是在学校修的。
For all four years in high school, I was on the school swimming team. There is no distinction between a varsity or junior varsity team — sometimes I swam in varsity event entries and others times in junior varsity. My best event was the 100-yard breaststroke, and I tied the team’s time (1:08) with two other swimmers last year, one second off from qualifying for the regional championship meet. This year, though the swimming season abruptly stopped when the campus closed for quarantine, I was proud of my little achievements on the team.
I worked on two separate mural projects. I worked on the first one in my sophomore year, titled Communications, with two other students for my school’s language building. We collected traditional sayings in different languages spoken on campus and combined them with other means of communication, like film, photography, music and architecture. The three of us designed and painted the mural over the course of a couple of months, and it remains visible from the windows of the Spanish and Chinese classrooms.
In my junior year, the second mural project was a collaboration with Grant High School, another local school. Twenty or so students from both schools talked about ideas about a mural that would encourage viewers to be more environmentally conscious in daily life. The non-profit that organized the project chose me to represent my school, and I designed the painting with a student from Grant. The final painting had a clean earth in the middle with different flora and fauna representing each region, surrounded by shards of polluted earth and a ring of calligraphic text that read “What I stand for is what I stand on”.
第二个壁画项目是在我11年级的时候与当地另一所学校Grant High School合作完成的。来自两所学校的大约20名学生讨论了关于壁画的想法，这幅壁画的目的是提倡在日常生活中更加注重环保。发起这个项目的非盈利组织选择了我代表我的学校，我和一个来自Grant High School的学生一同设计了这幅画。最后一幅画中间是一片干净的土地，不同的动植物代表着不同的地区，周围是被污染的土地碎片和一圈用英文书写体写着的“我所代表的就是我所站在的”。
In September, I will be attending Swarthmore, focusing on art and art history. I chose to apply as an art major because I’ve been drawing and painting since I was little, and I want to explore the plethora of art media offered in a college setting. I enjoyed AP Art History class this year, how it gives cultural and social context to artworks, allowing me to create my own art with more intent.
I remember last year, when I was just beginning my college search, I had no idea what major I wanted to study. I wanted to take art classes, but I also wanted the chance to learn more in other areas, like mathematics, linguistics and philosophy. Black, my counselor at APP-ARK, suggested that I look into liberal arts colleges, which would give me the kind of curricular flexibility that would work well for my academic goals.
At the time, I had a mental image of small colleges being secluded in the snowy middle of nowhere, but I was wrong. I discovered Swarthmore, which is a mere 20 minute drive from downtown Philly. The school has small discussion-based classes that I’m used to. However, being in a consortium with two nearby colleges, the variety of courses offered there is incomparable to my high school.
Seeing Swarthmore’s selectivity, I knew I had to make my application as perfect as possible. Black helped me choose which AP classes and SAT Subject Tests to take, to make my profile more well-rounded. He also organised other APP-ARK counselors to give me mock interviews, in order to prepare me for the alumnae/i interviews in spring. I learnt to open up about my story more quickly, as well as guiding the conversations in a way in which I can showcase my achievements.
I think the most difficult part of my application process was the initial brainstorming phase for the essays. Because of the open-endedness of the prompts, I had trouble finding the topics that would most complement my profile. Fortunately, Richard was able to help me with both my Common App and school-specific essays. During my initial brainstorming phase, he gave me sample essays for reference. Although we had to abandon one of our ideas for the Common App essay, we included it in the Additional Information section. That goes to show how APP-ARK counselors are not simply concerned with completing students’ applications; they wanted them to be perfect too. In the end, I’m happy to say that I didn’t have any regret after submitting my applications, and I thank my counselors for that.
I would tell future college applicants what I would tell myself from one year ago — it is not about getting accepted to “better” colleges, but rather finding a college that best fits me. That means not only living on a campus I would like, but also connecting with teachers and students with whom I would enjoy studying. I chose Swarthmore over other liberal arts colleges for that reason. From connecting with students online, I found that the abilities and knowledge of Swarthmore admits all give me an interesting sense of awe. These are the people whom I trust to stimulate me academically while being interesting.
Going to liberal arts means that I have no idea what I want to do in the future, but I indeed have a rough idea of how my next four years would turn out. I am probably going to take art history and studio classes every year for my major. For the rest of the periods, I want to explore areas of study that I did not have the chance to in high school, subjects like film, linguistics, philosophy, critical theory and urban studies. I also want to go beyond my trilingualism and take classes on other languages.