Cornell Admission Essay Example
My ambition to attend the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell is inextricably tied to my larger goal, and both are the result of experiences that have confirmed a vocation within me. I know on a profound level what it is I hope to do in the world. This in place, I then know where I must first go to make this a reality. If I may, I would like to share what fuels this conviction.
The word “epiphany” is used almost casually today, yet I believe that a genuine epiphany recently came to me. I went with my mother, who is a doctor, to assist in an area of India ravaged by monsoons. Those familiar with such situations only from news reports cannot fully understand how flooding can utterly cripple a village and destroy ways of life. The people were huddled under makeshift tents of tattered plastic tarp, clinging to this completely inadequate protection; naked children played in the dirty water of the street; and many natives, starving in these dire conditions, displayed distended bellies. I had known that India was a third-world country. I knew that the nation's people endured great deprivations. This, however, was vivid in a way that stunned my senses. That this was my native heritage added to the sorrow gripping me.
I did what I could. I distributed food, and helped wherever I felt I was able. At one point, I witnessed a volunteer doctor diagnose and treat a woman with cholera, and her appreciation for this was heartbreaking. She seemed to regard this basic, humanely done service as a blessing, and one not expected. In seeing this, I was deeply humbled. I was as well aware of an urgency growing within my being, and one not to be easily dismissed or set aside. Quite simply, I became resolutely convinced that nothing I could do in life would be finer than this sort of philanthropy. It seemed remarkably clear to me then, as it does today: humanity may not ever be known as such, if humans do not tend to one another in need. There is no more important or meaningful work, and I knew absolutely that serving as a doctor to those in distress was the calling for me. Before this experience, I had directed my intellectual energies to achieving excellence in whatever study was before me, and I am pleased to say I typically succeeded. India enabled me to have something more, for afterward I had a direction all my own to pursue.
The gravity with which I hold to my ambition very much goes to the intense research I conducted as to how to proceed. Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences was the result of my efforts, as the school offers, and at the highest levels of proficiency, the educations I most require. The Biology Program of the college is particularly strong, and this is the sort of technical platform I need, to further my education in medicine. Other distinct advantages, however, are tied to this, for I would still be able to attend to other interests, such as History and Business, within the school schedule. It seems to me essential that anyone committed to medicine should be grounded in as complete an education as possible, and Cornell shares this view of the value of academic freedom. I would add, also, that I am determined to acquire a foreign language proficiency and, again, it seems that Cornell echoes my convictions regarding the import of this; all of the College of Arts and Sciences’ undergraduates graduate with proficiency in at least one language. I intend to participate in programs such as “Doctors Without Borders”, and my ambition to humanely treat those in need can only be abetted by the ease of communication shared languages bring.
If my passion is strong, please know that it is tempered by an equally potent awareness of realities. Simply, I cannot hope to be the doctor I wish to become without acquiring a superior grounding in education, and of several kinds. My commitment to Cornell is that I will give my utmost, to gain the many benefits a Cornell education confers, and that I will employ this education to both fulfill my dream and do credit to the university.