The war began on 25 June 1950: a 14-year-old boy escaped with his seven younger siblings and parents from North Korea to South Korea to avoid the enemy's attack. The young boy promised his grandparents that he would return when the war ended. Assuming he could return in a week or two, he left his two youngest sisters with his grandparents and hid his favorite roller skate under the floor. This boy is my grandfather: it has been 70 years since he left his home. Since I was five, I lived with my grandparents. Many modern families may think it unusual to live with the older generation; however, my worldview has been profoundly shaped by my grandparents' passion, wisdom, and unmeasurable love for their children.
In spring 2020, I returned home early due to COVID-19 and I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He insisted that I was like himself as a youth, since I am also a firstborn of three children. Sharing his own experience of studying, my grandfather told me how his heart beat so quickly when he learned and the joy he felt when he achieved hard work. My own hard work, he reminded me, would be its own reward: I will achieve my dream and be successful if I am diligent and honest. Before I began college, my grandfather's advice did not really influence me. Although he always emphasized morality, hard work, and a genuine heart, I barely listened. After all, I assumed, I was just a little girl living in the protection of a conservative family. I was too inexperienced to understand the depth of his advice; however, when I left home for college, I realized how significant his advice was.
College was a challenge! As a firstborn sibling and a first-generation student attending college in America, I always felt pressure to set a high standard for my siblings to follow. I was extremely anxious. Each day, I strove for success and believed that I could never fail. The first two years were painful, specifically because I had weak values and no passion for my future. After 730 days at university, I learned how identity and morality could affect my life's values and passion. A strong identity and morals not only inspire me to do my best work, but also results in strong passion and values. Initially, this realization crushed me, because I had none of these character traits. When I was younger, I was very skeptical about humans because most people seemed to prioritize succeeding in a career, rather than living a moral life. Furthermore, people try to justify their decisions by insisting that this is the only way to succeed in this competitive society. This mindset is very dangerous to immature, impressionable young adults, especially because they have not yet developed a strong identity or morals. Although I attempted to mimic this strategy, I realized that it would crush my passion and soul.
Desperate to find my calling, I travelled on a mission trip to Peru in my sophomore year. As a daughter of a pastor, I had been on multiple mission trips with my parents, but this mission trip was my first medical mission trip alone. Based on my previous experiences, I learned that I love to help people and, through my service, to make them smile. In Peru, I loved observing the interaction between dentists and patients and I was amazed to see how dentists could bring back the patients' smiles. Furthermore, during the mission trip, my life's calling became clear. When I saw the patients' relieved faces after treatments, I felt it from my heart that dentistry would be the passion and dream that I had searched for. Just like how my grandfather's heart beat so fast for his own studies, my heart began to beat for dentistry. Reflecting on my college experience, I am thankful that I struggled with my calling, because these experiences not only strengthened my values and passion, but also revealed why I want to become a good dentist. There are numerous intelligent and smart people and these traits may make them successful. During my first two years of college, I thought success should be my ultimate goal because it is the way to survive this competitive society. When my worldview and values strengthened, however, I decided to be a dentist with a warm, caring heart. Just as equilibrium occurs through the transfer of heat from a warmer object to a cooler object, so my warmth and compassion can reach my patients' hearts. Through my service, they will smile again.
Undergraduate Degree: Southern Adventist University - Bachelor of Science, Chemistry
Reading, violin. Music, home decoration, fashion
High School Biology
High School Chemistry