I am very motivated by challenges and always look for opportunities to solve problems. Challenges intrigue me because they show me how far I am willing to go. No one can meet every challenge, but I strive to do the best I can and not repeat mistakes. I realize this is a high standard, but I don’t know any other way. In life, situations repeat themselves. The ability to learn from one’s mistakes and solve them is as important as anything.
I challenge myself to solve every problem. From an academic standpoint, I can often be found looking at the same math problem for 30 minutes. It might appear that I am doing nothing. Contrarily, I meticulously work through every possibility. For every problem, there is always a right answer and I constantly strive to find that answer. Furthermore, I will do everything in my power to win. Last year, in AP Calculus, my third quarter grade was a B+. I struggled with the material and used every resource available to salvage an 87. As fourth quarter started, my attitude changed. I expected perfection. I would not accept a missed problem on my homework or practice problems. I studied and studied, and received at 99% on my fourth quarter grade. I can not stand doing just par on anything I do, but strive to overachieve.
My values are very similar athletically. Competing in tennis works with my strengths because I can problem solve. I break down my opponent’s strengths and weakness, and attack mercilessly. Also, tennis’ three set system gives me a chance to reevaluate how I am playing. If I lose the first set, my style of play will change drastically. I will do anything to win. Furthermore, I take particularly pride in the manner in which I practice with passion and a purpose. After my failing to qualify for the state tournament as a freshman, I made a commitment to make the state tournament the next year. Over the winter, I focused on my doubles play by learning strategy and watching more experienced players. The next year, I excelled and received all-state honors after placing fifth in the state tournament as a sophomore.
I hold myself to the highest standard socially. The Club for Exceptional Children is a place to build relationships with special needs students. One especially tough challenge is with a student who has a severe case of autism named Josh. This student sporadically rewinds a conversation and repeats everything that is said for the past thirty seconds. At times talking with this student can be difficult and very tedious, but I thrive in such situations. I challenge myself to find the hardest situations and succeed.
Throughout my day, I attempt to overachieve. Looking for the fastest route to school, winning a seemingly meaningless game of Solitaire, and driving out of the school parking lot first as school ends all drive me. Second place is just the first loser, and I hate losing.