Common App Personal Essay
Any sort of help is welcome! I am applying to some top universities, which means my essay should be nearly perfect. I definitely want to rewrite my last 2 paragraphs, but just don't know what exactly to change. Thank you so much in advance!Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. - I am not really sure which prompt my essay fits, but I guess this is the most appropriate
In the beginning, we were a small family of three, living in a house so small we barely had enough walking space in between the crammed furniture. I grew up with my mom singing in the kitchen while making her famous pancakes and her braiding my hair every night before reading me a bedtime story. Needless to say, I was privileged by having both of my parents nurture me with unconditional love, regardless of my gender.
At the time, gender was nothing more than just a biological phenomenon to me. I was a happy, carefree child with little thought about social norms and values. Life was simpler then - the only thing I needed to know about girls and boys was that we went potty in separate rooms. As I grew older, however, the line of division that separated us became more evident. I started noticing things I could neither comprehend nor explain. "Female" became an entirely different species. A never-ending pile of whys came crashing into my life.
To hush my ever-growing fire of rage and confusion, I turned to the internet. Through hours of research, I stumbled upon the f-word. "Feminism," what I considered to be the complete hatred of even the slightest expression of femininity, was not my favorite concept, to say the least. At least that's what I used to think. The first image that came up in my mind was a raging man-hater with short red hair and a lip piercing, destined to burn all men alive. On that bra burning bombshell, I closed the chapter on feminism.
That was up until 10th-grade, right before I met the woman who changed my life. It was mid-November, and the rain poured over me, soaking every inch of my clothing. I was standing on the side of the road, waiting patiently for my taxi to arrive. Preoccupied with the flow of rainwater down the stone road in the city center, I didn't notice how a sleek grey convertible parked right in front of me. I sat down in the back seat, put on my seatbelt, and leaned back. As my eyes shifted from my books onto the rear-view mirror, I froze. I didn't see the thick, dark eyebrows or the equally thick, dark hair that I was used to seeing. Instead, I saw long, elegantly curled eyelashes that sent endless shadows through her honey-gold eyes. Behind the wheel of the convertible, was a woman. We exchanged little more than a sentence, but somehow, she ignited a flame inside of me. In Azerbaijan, a country that practically thrives on sexism, patriarchy, and stereotypes, seeing a woman drive was like finding a four-leaf clover. On that rainy November day, I found that mystical leaf.
During the next day of school, I marched into my principal's office and demanded I be allowed to play in the boy's basketball team. Unfortunately, not many girls shared my love for basketball, and as such, we did not have a girl's team. Being a "weak" and "sensitive" young girl, I wasn't allowed to join the boy's team either, and I had never thought of fighting for my rights before. After many attempts and heated exchanges, I was accepted as part of the team. Although small, my victory pushed me to do things I'd never imagined of doing and opened my mind up to a whole new world. I went on to become the Vice President of the Community and Service Club, the President of the Student Council, the only female in my volunteer group at a children's hospital, and the captain of the school Volleyball team.
Yes, I am a feminist. I believe in the equal rights of men and women. Yes, my accomplishments can seem trivial to others, but I do everything with sheer genuinity and compassion. I believe that I have the potential to do something meaningful. And I believe that one day, everybody will be able to say "I love the f-word".