Being on different teams over the years has provided me with the opportunity to meet and form connections with other people that I would not have met otherwise. Being teammates often forms strong bonds because playing soccer at any level requires a serious commitment to one’s teammates. This aspect of the game helped me realize the importance of working with others from an early age. I have been able to take this lesson from the soccer field and apply it to other aspects of my life. Academics as well as soccer requires a certain amount of cooperation in order to be truly successful. This knowledge has been a significant factor in my success in school, and I am confident that it will also be an important aspect of my career success as well.
At the end of my sophomore year of high school, I went to the Davis Model United Nations Conference with my history instructor, and learned a lot about how the United Nations works. I attended the conference in my junior year as well, and at both conferences, I was in a classroom filled with highly competitive, highly intelligent students. Each of us represented a different country, and our committee goals were to draft resolutions which would help solve world issues. Even though the resolutions we wrote were only effectual inside our classroom, I learned how the United Nations can have an influence in the world. I find the idea of a large body of countries working together to solve world issues to be exciting. I believe that while the United States of America is a strong, great country, many Americans do not tend to think about the rest of the world and the impact we could have on it. The United Nations could be one of the most influencial bodies in the world, and could be used to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, I believe that many countries neglect this fact. While America does participate in the United Nations, we could have a much more active role in it. We could use that role to help change the world, rather than trying to do so on our own. The institution needed to change the world is in place, but countries must collectively decide to use it for that purpose. Discussing how to do so is especially interesting because their are so many different opinions on the matter.
One area I have strong opionions in is politics. I love to talk to anyone about what is happening in the world and the country. My friend Leigh-Anne Borkowski and I share a lot of the same opinions and passions about poltiics, and by the end of our sophomore year, we felt that our school was missing a place where our peers could meet and discuss political opinions. At first, we were considering starting a school branch of the Young Democrats of America, but we soon realized that that club would be too exclusive. We then had the idea of beginning a school branch of the Junior State of America, a nation-wide organization that holds conferences and other such things for young people interested in politics. Leigh-Anne and I were determined to follow through on our idea, so we took it to our history teacher, Mr. Graham. Mr. Graham thought the idea was a good one, and told us what steps we needed to take in order for the club to become supported by the school. We then followed those steps, and in our junior year, the first year the club was official, we held meetings once a week in which we debated political issues, such as war and abortion. I chose to run for Vice-President of the club and was elected by my peers because I have a lot of ideas for the club’s direction. Although it was not easy to set up a brand new club, I am very glad that I had a part in it because I feel that the club is very beneficial to our school. We continue to hold bi-weekly meetings in which anyone who wants to attend can participate in friendly debates. I am always actively involved in the debates because I like to talk about the opinions I have about the world.
The most prominent influences on my life have been the people involved in it, be they family, friends, or acquaintances. However, some people have been much larger factors in shaping who I am. Two of the most important people in my life are Therese Marucci and Laura Kroeger, to whom I owe a lot of my success and accomplishments. Therese and Laura have been in my life since kindergarten, which is almost longer than I can remember. In fact, I was so young when our friendship began that I have limited memories of the first few years of it. That is why the photograph I treasure most is of the three of us holding hands at the Sacramento County Zoo on a kindergarten class field trip. The picture reminds me of my two best friends, and how long they have been in my life. A lot has changed since the picture was taken. All three of us have grown taller, our hair has changed, and our faces have matured. What you cannot see, however, is how our personalities have grown and changed in the past twelve years.
Throughout elementary school, Therese, Laura, and I were often inseparable. We each had a few good friends, but our bond is the only one that has been strong enough to last through to high school. The three of us have survived many changes, on eof the larger ones being Laura attending a private high school instead of Center High School, where Therese and I went after the eighth grade. Our friendship’s survival of this separation proved that we really are the best of friends. Because Therese and Laura have remained a huge part of my life for so long, they have become one of the biggest influences on it. Throughout the years, the two have been my support, competition, and second family. I have never been afraid of new challenges because I have always known that Therese and Laura would be with me no matter what. In many cases, I have risen to the top because they push me, whether it be subconsciously or knowingly, to get there. I owe many of my accomplishments to the fact that Therese and Laura have been with me for practically my whole life.
The fact that I know Therese and Laura are always behind me, no matter what, gives me confidence to reach for everything I want. I am not afraid to leave my home and start a new life in college because I know that my best friends are no more than a phone call away. I have confidence in my ability to succeed in college because I know that if I ever need extra support, I have two dependable girls to turn to. I am confident that our connection will remain because it has already survived numerous changes and challenges, including the passage of over twelve years since we first met.
The impact Therese and Laura have had on my life is immeasurable. Without these two girls, I would have become a much different person. They have kept me grounded throughout the years. They provide me with enough confidence and support to go forth with everything I do. The support that Therese and Laura give me does not come without return, though. They both know I am always available for them, no matter what, because I have always told them this. Having Therese and Laura in my life has not only provided me with extra support, but has also taught me how to be a supportive friend. My affinity for meeting new people is in large part due to their presence in my life. Twelve years of close friendship does not come without work, and the work that the three of us have put into our bond shows in the fact that we are all very capable of forming bonds with others. I know that being outgoing in order to form new friendships is one of the most important qualities I have, and the influence of Therese and Laura in my life has largely made me confident enough to do so.
I know that leaving my home for college is going to be a challenge. I am going to have to meet new people and begin a new phase in my life. While this thought is sometimes overwhelming, I am not afraid of the challenge ahead of me. I am ready for a different routine and different people in my life. My confidence is in part due to the fact that I have Therese and Laura in my life. No matter how far apart we are, I know they will always be behind me. We have a bond that’s stronger than most friendships between people our age, a bond that is hard to describe in words. Somehow I can feel that no matter what happens in our lives, the three of us will always be able to pick up where we left off. The picture that I have of us as four and five year olds at the zoo in kindergarten reminds me of that bond. It is one of my most treasured possessions right now, and when I leave home, it is going to become more important. Anytime I need to, I can look at that picture and know that I have two girls behind me that will never fail to support me.