從 SAT 1100 到成功進入杜克大學的心路歷程

Isa Lu, Topsail High school, NC 九年級參加HS2 三合一全包式升學專案

Before starting high school, I was very nervous about college. I was the typical average student in my school, and I felt like I couldn’t even get into schools like UC Irvine. Both of my English and math skills were terrible, as evidenced by the first SAT practice test I took where I got around a 1100. That score is what really woke me up. I realized that I was indeed very behind, and my desire for change led me to Hs2 Academy. After a few years of nonstop prep throughout summers at Hs2, where I would take a diagnostic test every week, eventually I was able to raise my SAT score to a 1560, high enough for my dream schools. Without Hs2 I do not know where I would be today. Honestly, the whole college application process is like a confusing maze meant to be stressful. Both of my parents are immigrants from China, so I basically had no one to guide me, no one to tell me what I needed to do in order to be competitive. I was completely lost. I had no idea I needed to do community service, take as many AP classes as possible, take up leadership positions in school, be involved in career-related extracurriculars, among countless other activities. My hs2 counselor introduced me to so many interesting volunteering and extracurricular opportunities that I could not easily find by myself. On the other hand, my high school counselors were not really helpful in offering me guidance. In fact, I didn’t even know CommonApp, the main platform students use for college applications, existed before my Hs2 counselor told me I needed to start working on my applications early. Even till this day I still remember the countless hours my Hs2 counselor and I spent on every single one of my college essays. My first drafts look like actual trash compared to the finished and more refined result I submitted in the end. My Hs2 counselor and all of the Hs2 editors were able to pick up grammar errors in my writing, identify places where my thoughts didn’t make any sense, and offer endless suggestions for improvement. They streamlined my thoughts and helped me present my best self to colleges. They condensed my superfluous writing into words that were actually meaningful and gave me inspiration when I was mentally stuck on what to write about. I applied to 25+ colleges, and I have well over 100 pages on the document where I wrote my essays. I would not have been able to apply to that many schools without Hs2’s help. Throughout my high school career, Hs2 pointed out a clear path for me on what I should be doing every step of the way, keeping me ahead of every deadline. I spent my summers productively attending various summer programs and volunteering for causes I felt passionate about. In the end, I was able to receive countless acceptances, including schools like UC Berkeley, UCLA, NYU, UVA, UNC, etc. Without Hs2, I would never have gotten into my dream school Duke University, which is where I will be attending thanks to the hard work and support from Hs2. I went from a mediocre student who basically had no chance at any of the top 30 schools to the stronger me today capable of reaching new limits. Many of my relatives and friends who have known me all along are still extremely surprised that I was able to get into a top 10 school. If you are still debating on whether or not Hs2 is right for you, I strongly advise you to join such a wonderful and supportive community that has changed the rest of my life forever. The college application process will only get more competitive, and Hs2 will always be there to help you reach your dream school.

在上高中之前,我對申請大學很緊張。我在我的學校就是一個典型的普通學生,我覺得我甚至不能進入像加州大學爾灣分校這樣的學校。我的英語和數學水平都很糟糕,這從我參加的第一次SAT練習考試就可以看出,我只考了1100分左右。那個分數真正讓我清醒了, 我意識到我確實落後了很多,我渴望改變, 所以我加入了Hs2 Academy。在Hs2的整個暑假裡,我在都不停上課補習,每週都要參加一次SAT模擬考。沒有Hs2,我不知道我今天會在哪裡。老實說,整個大學申請過程就像一個令人困惑的迷宮,充滿壓力。我的父母都是來自中國的移民,所以基本上沒有人指導我,沒有人告訴我要增加競爭力需要做什麼事情, 我完全迷失了。

我不知道我需要做社區服務,參加盡可能多的AP課程,在學校擔任領導職務,參加與未來申請專業相關的課外活動,以及無數其他活動。我的hs2顧問給我介紹了很多有趣的義工和課外活動,我一個人很難找到這些機會。另一方面,我的高中輔導員並沒有真正幫助我, 給我提供指導。事實上,在我的Hs2 顧問告訴我需要儘早開始寫我的申請之前,我甚至不知道學生們申請大學的主要共同申請表平台的存在。直到今天,我仍然記得我和Hs2的顧問花了無數的時間在每一篇大學申請論文上。與我最終提交的成品和更精細的結果相比,我的初稿看起來就像真正的垃圾。我的Hs2顧問和所有的Hs2編輯都能夠發現我寫作中的語法錯誤,找出我的想法沒有任何意義的地方,並提供無盡的改進建議。它們簡化了我的思維,幫助我在大學申請時展現出最好的自己。他們把我多餘的寫作濃縮成真正有意義的文字,當我在腦海中糾結於要寫什麼的時候,他們給了我靈感。


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