Common Application: Topic of your choice.

"Pressure is the amount of force exerted on an object by the air above it," my physics teacher explained. I jotted down the definition but then began to think...if only it were that simple.

So what is pressure really? Pressure is juggling three AP classes with three varsity sports. It is practicing five nights a week with one of the best youth soccer teams in the country and then studying during the car ride home. It is missing weeks of school while traveling around the world to play the sport I love while not missing a single assignment in class, but most of all, pressure is what you make of it. I have thrived in the classroom and on the soccer field because, when handled correctly, anxiety-filled situations can bring out the best in a person. In the words of George S. Patton, "Pressure makes diamonds."

Academic excellence is most often achieved in pressure-filled conditions. The more ambitious students in school naturally feel some pressure to excel. When this pressure is coupled with the demanding work of advanced placement classes, students have two choices: they can meet the challenge, or they can crash. Fortunately, I have been able to master academic pressure and use it to my advantage. By...

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