When I was in elementary, junior-high and high school, I studied mathematics for the Math Olympiad. During those days, I realized I am extremely talented at mathematics. I may even dare say that if someone were to rank the entire students of my age in Korea according to their talent in mathematics, I would be considered as one of the top five. I received many medals after contesting in the Korean Mathematical Olympiad, or KMO and National Math Competition. From these experiences and my studies at mathematics, I was able to learn to think logically which helped me a lot for writing codes for software programs. I consider logics as one of the most important element for excelling at programming.
I had many rivals, including those who were considered as one of the top five contestants in Math Olympiad. Most of them were not only hard working but also innately granted with many talents in many areas. Often times, I found it tough competing amongst them.
Almost 10 years have elapsed since and, Fortunately, I was able to keep in touch with them through various medias including 'Facebook'. But, what was troubling for me to realize was that most of them have abandoned their dreams and chose a stable life as medical students; due to their innate talent, many ended up in SNU medical school. Even my younger brother was not so much different. He also chose to have a stable life as a dental student in NYU dental school. Though, I think it is much worthy to attend NYU dental school than SNU medical school and I am very much proud of him, I frown at times to see him reconciling his dream for a stable life.
When I was a contestant for the Math Olympiad, I had a firm belief that my rivals will all one day be one of the most eminent scholars in their fields, but I was so wrong. They all chose stable life over being eminent figures. I consider such a choice a waste of “smartness.” Where are my rivals’ dreams? Come to think of it, they never had one! All busy studying for mathematics, they never had a chance to sit back and delve at their dreams, what to become of them.
They chose a stable life. I chose to chase after my dream. It’s a little depressing to see my rivals’ being extremely realistic, but it is at the same time a relief to find out that I have a little less rivals in South Korea.