Personal Statement | Cornell University Undergraduate Application Essay

During my sophomore year, I took an elective history course, “Rediscovering the Lives of Women.” Learning about prominent female figures in history, as well as how society perceived and affected them, prompted me to reflect on how gender shapes my identity and personality. As a woman, I’ve often been told to be sweet and smile more often — and told not to overreact or be so emotional. I always considered these expectations false and unfair; still, I truly am an emotional person, and this is especially true in regards to women’s issues. My heart ached when I read that at least one of every three women globally will be beaten, raped, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. I worry about the 140 million girls and women who are currently living with the consequences of female genital mutilation. The fact that women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the food, but earn only 10% of the income and own only 1% of the property is simply overwhelming. These statistics rattle me because, if I had been born in a different corner of the world, I would be the one who is suffering.

I realize that having a pair of X chromosomes means not only having to overcome inequalities — it means taking on more responsibilities. Since we…

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