My
father and my mother inspire me, motivate me and shape me into who I am today.

They are my towers of strength. They guide and give me the power to battle barrier
in life. Who I am today, and who I will become in the future definitely involve
the full support and the full love of my parents. The people I always call
mother and father have made me dedicated and have turned me into a strong
fighter of my own war of life. They are not the most famous people in the
world, however, they are just special ordinary people that make me believe in
myself and make me believe that I will be somebody.

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            My father became my leading
exemplar of my education. His hard work led him to become a Math outstanding
student during the French Colony in Cambodia and graduated from high school
with a good grade, and likewise, his strong commitment to a higher education
made him achieve scholarship domestically and internationally. My father,
directly and indirectly, convinces me to not give up on my education and always
inspires me to even pursue the higher one. His study journey shows me if my
father can do it during one of the most difficult times back then, so I will
definitely do it during this time. Being one of the youngest sons in his
family, he was told to drop out of school so many times regarding the lack of
financial support. Among all of his siblings, however, he was the only one who
refused to follow and worked his tail off to get some money for his family
while studying at the same time. All of his hard work for education and his achievement
inspire me so much, that made me study extremely hard during my high school.

The motivation from his study journey gave me strengths that I end up becoming
a Math outstanding student, graduating with Grade A and getting a scholarship
for my undergraduate degree.

            Being a leading light of the
family, my father would never let me just give up. I am taught that failure is
the mother of success, and I am also taught to believe in myself and to be okay
to dream big. Back when I was in grade 9, there was a national Math competition
for secondary school students. I joined it as everyone said I was good at Math,
however, I failed since the first round, which made me feel ashamed of myself
and wanted to quit school right after. I locked myself in my room without
turning on any light and refused to have any meal. I got a very long letter
from my father that he sliced it under my door to let me see his failures when
he was about my age. Finished reading his letter, my eyes burst into tears. I
cried because I was so proud of him, and it was also a cry to end my failure
and to start a new chapter of life. In that letter, my father showed me how he
used to fail to enter the top class in his high school, how he failed to be
selected to join IMO (International Mathematics Olympiad), and how he struggled
to succeed in his first business. Comparing my difficulties right now to the
difficulties he met twenty years ago, I started to trust myself that I will
definitely accomplish my goal as long as I stand up whenever I get knocked
down.

            My mother is a good cook in
the family, but besides that, she also plays an important role in my life as
well. My mother has taught me to always carry a smile and to look at the
positives in life instead of fretting about the negatives. Back to my high school,
when I was in grade 10, I took the Singaporean scholarship examination for high
school students, however, I failed. I was so frustrated, and I thought it was
the end of my world. My mother came to me and persuaded me to keep that failure
as an experience. She told me to focus on my future instead of looking back to
the paste. Her advice also helps me a lot especially when I started my life
abroad. Being here alone sometimes stresses me out, and my mother is the one
who keeps telling me to see the bright side and put the dark side as the
opportunity to gain new challenges and experience. When I just finished my one-year
Korean language and came to Kyung Hee for my undergraduate degree, my first
semester was horrible as 80% of all my classes were taught in Korean.  I was truly about to drop out of school and
went back home, but my mother calmed me down. She told me not to force myself into
feeling depressed, but instead, to appreciate my own hard work, and to accept
the result because that was the best I could do. She told me not to give up on
a small difficulty because I am going to meet a harder one in the future. Even
though I am really busy with my study, but my mother keeps calling me every
week to check how I am doing here.

            I was so grateful that my
mother, who never attended college, was trying her hardest to earn money and to
help support the family, especially me. Before my father went for his Ph.D. in
Japan, I spent almost my everyday time with my mother because she was a
housewife without any extra job. Eventually, things got changed a bit after my father
got his scholarship to Japan. The living allowance my father got from his
scholarship could only keep himself survive, so my mother needed to do
something to get money. I went to school as normal, and my mother got a store
in the supermarket. She left early in the morning and came back late at night,
so we spent less and less time together. Fights led to more fight almost every
day up until one day when my mother finally broke down. She cried and told me
she wanted things for my own good, and she also told me she wanted a bright
future for me so that I would not have to work as hard as she did just for a
living. I admired her for speaking up to me and always buying things I yearn
for with her little money while she could not even dare to buy for herself.

Other mothers might not be speaking, but instead, yelling at their kids for
asking them many questions.

            Both of my parents have always been teaching me to a
be strong and independent woman. Growing up watching my parents fighting for a
living instead of divorcing because of the financial issue like many other
couples did was what really made them my role model. They did not just stop and
let the poorness control and separate them apart. They both tried their best
and kept moving forward together. Each of them teaches me not to let anything
handicap me from doing what I want to do in life. I am so thankful that I have
my personal counselor whom I can talk with about my personal life, my education
process, and my future plan. When I grow old with my own children, I hope I can
be there for my kids, and make an unforgettable impact on their lives just like
the way my parents have been doing for me.

x

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