Senior Spotlight: Stephanie Oh


Portrait of Stephanie Oh after being accepted into Princeton

Stephanie Oh is a senior at Northwest who got accepted into Princeton University. 

What are your hobbies? 

AAPI Mural that Stephanie Oh helped paint in the library hallway. 

I enjoy art (drawing, painting), reading and music. I also like to sit in libraries all day and pretend to do work.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment(s) while in high school? 

I designed and helped paint the AAPI Jackie Chan Mural outside the library. I am very proud to have designed a mural as well as made it celebrate our school’s Asian-American community. I also attended Governor’s School last summer, which was a huge accomplishment for me. 

What were your biggest challenges in applying to college? 

Probably the lack of support I got from people that are supposed to be there to help us. I had to sort of find my own opportunities. Time management was also something I struggled with. It’s also super easy to get discouraged when you start comparing yourself to others. There was a point where I was so discouraged due to the uncertainty. I think all seniors have a point where they start worrying they may not get accepted anywhere.  

What is your intended major?  

I have no idea. I’m interested in so many different areas.  

Why did you choose to attend Princeton? 

Princeton has always been my top choice. This was mostly because my older brother also goes there, but I fell in love with the school as well. Princeton’s focus on undergraduates and research is unmatched, and I can’t think of a better place than Princeton to explore independently throughout college. Also, it looks like a castle.  

Since Princeton is so competitive, what do you think made the difference in your application? 

I think I expressed fully how I could best utilize Princeton’s resources, and how I would in turn, benefit the school. I also had a niche and unique passion that I articulated clearly in my essays. I was also completely honest about myself and my personality, with no filter at all. I think admission officers look for transparency, not braggers. 

Do you have any advice for Northwest students striving to get into an Ivy League school? 

Stats aren’t everything. You can have perfect grades and perfect SAT scores, but that will not matter if you do not showcase any of your unique passions or personality. You have to remember that everyone is going to have that perfect academic background. Another thing is to seek out opportunities that will aid you in your process. These things will not be handed to you. If you want scholarships, you will have to work to find them. Especially for low-income students: Ivy leagues and top schools may seem out of reach. This isn’t true. There are many programs in place to bridge this gap. Also, remember that prestige isn’t everything. If you get caught up looking at the names of schools only, then you will end up disappointed and in an environment that may not fit you; be sure to prioritize programs and opportunities.