As a high school student, I always ask myself why I study. I really had no answer why I sometimes study until 3 AM for a test the following day. Of course it was to get a good score on the test.

But why?

Why do I need to receive good grades anyway? I need to get accepted to a prestigious college. Then what? After college I will probably have to attend graduate school. No doubt, I will probably study for another 10 more years after my high school graduation. In the end, what was all this for?

I came across a book titled “공부는 내 인생에 대한 예의다” (Studying Is Respecting Your Life”) by Patrick G. Lee. In high school, Lee received perfect scores for both the SAT and the ACT. He received the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, an award is for students who show excellence in academics, sports, and service in the United States. Lee attended Yale University for undergraduate school after receiving acceptance from all the IVY league schools.

In his book, Lee mentions his philosophy behind studying. He says he studies to fulfill and achieve whatever he wants to do in the future. He does not want his bad grades from the past to become a burden in achieving his goals in the future.

Lee later talks more in depth about his life during high school: studying habits and tips, interacting with people, and family life. People often failed to understand his motives behind some of his actions. However, Lee always felt confident and did not listen to what others had to say about him.

After reading his book, I believed the reason behind Lee’s success was how he knew himself well. He knew his identity and what he had to do to improve. Thus, Lee was able to achieve and fulfill his desires.

Although you may not be able to clearly vision your future right now, you have to keep believe in yourself. Next time you come across a topic of why you have to study, imagine not being able to achieve something you really want to become in the future because of the things that you did or did not do in the future. People often say YOLO (You Only Live Once), so why study? Rather than wasting your one and only chance, because “you only live once,” do something that you really want to do in your one life.


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