1. Growing up in Korea with pressure to be successful and carry on the family name, being reserved and traditional, and how I had to keep silent and keep my voices inside. I was not supposed to disagree with what elders told me, had to follow these traditional steps just because it was presented to me and live like a puppet.
  2. The transition from Korea to the US where freedom was granted but my habits remained and held me back. Struggle of keeping up with the standards that were set by my grandparents and parents but ultimately executed by myself, and not knowing what to do with the freedom waiting for someone to guide me. Going to SAT class after another, prepping for the chemistry olympiad, and conducting scientific research was all done because others have told me these are something that will get me to success at the end, and just followed what has been told.
  3. Got into UC Berkeley and other colleges but even the decision to go to which college depended on others’ ideas. I took other advice and went off to UC Berkeley. When I first got here I was confused — no one was telling me what to do especially with my free time and I was confused. Soon I went to find a lab to research in just because that was something that I did in the past and was comfortable in. Soon I realized I’ve been enclosing myself in comfort and not fully exploring the opportunities and realized I liked researched because I was team lead and having to lead the team of others to success. This led me to realize research wasn’t something I liked doing but it was being a leader.

Being around people might be comforting and listening to what others tell you might be an easier route to take. However, the ultimate decision should be up to you and you should continue to follow your passion since no one will spend time for you. Pursue something that you are passionate about and always listen to yourself and what you think is right for you.