“If you live life without trying your hardest, it isn’t a life worth living.” These words struck me the most throughout my cousin’s lecture after I had failed to meet his expectations during my visit to Korea this past summer. It was my first time meeting most of my relatives since I immigrated to America back when I was four. I was to be living with the only male cousin on my dad’s side in his apartment complex throughout the majority of the summer. I figured, since we’re all relatives, him and I would have similar characteristics and traits. How wrong I was.
It turned out that, my cousin was nearly the opposite of me. He was very stern, committed, and much more hard working than I was. He was the top graduate of his high school, and attending one of South Korea’s top ranked university: Yonsei University. As if that wasn’t enough, he also was planning on graduating in three years with an above average GPA as a pre-med student, while being a prominent member of the military. He fully embodied Yonsei’s motto: The first and the best.
Being compared to my cousin really made me consider what I was doing with my life. Sure, I had graduated as the top 10% of the class, made it to the prestigious UCLA, and had a great social life. However, compared to my cousin, I wasn’t number one of my graduating class, attending college with a nearly full scholarship, and still finding the time to go clubbing and partying nearly every night. To him, I was just mediocre. It made me fully realize that I didn’t put enough effort into anything I did. I did everything like it was a chore, did it just for the sake of finishing. I wasn’t making trying at all, and referring back to the wise words of my cousin, I wasn’t making my life worth the goals that I’d achieved. There was little sense of accomplishment, because of my lack of effort. So, why do I do what I do?
It is to perform anything and everything with all my effort and hard work so that when I look back upon it in the future, I can happily say that I did everything without any regrets.