I have heard many questions in my life, but I feel that the most common question that I get asked is “What are you best at?” What a vague question. I mean, this is inquiring so many aspects of life, like academics or personal talent. But every time I come across this question, whether it is coming out of someone’s mouth or it is on an application, I always use an academic answer. I say that I do rather well in mathematics and the sciences. Sometimes, however, I wonder if that is all people will ever think of me.
I find that math and science, especially math, are somewhat reflective of who I am. I have had a passion for the study of both subjects since my elementary school years. I remember back in first grade, I would spend a majority of my spare time mastering multiplication. If I was not busy learning math, I would be building Lego sets. When I moved on to third grade, my teacher immensely improved my mathematical skills, challenging me beyond the grade level and allowing me to spend more time on math than other subjects at times. By the end of that year, I felt that there was a possibility of me only being able to think of everything in numbers, not words.
Fast track to the fifth grade, my passion for science began to take root. I had the privilege to go on a weeklong trip to Camp Wrightwood with students in my class where we spent so much time learning about nature. Middle school is when the true test of my abilities in math and science began, as my teachers pushed my knowledge of the two subjects quite far. Those three years were the first that I really felt myself think in a way that I never did before when it came to the two subjects.
I felt that high school allowed me to find a way to see myself beyond the person who was surrounded by the logic of math and science like a dark cloud, as the school offered opportunities that allowed me to expand my horizons beyond that of academics. Volunteering and competitions made me realize that understanding people was just as important as understanding any math or science concept. It also served as an eye-opener to how life is not always logical which is part of the wonders that it has to offer. Although I intend to pursue engineering in the future, I finally realized that a person is defined by more than two things. And for probably the first time, I will be able to find my way into the light that is the other half of my personality.