My Journey on Math Olympiad


I believe that everyone wants to make their life unique, influential, and challenging, at least that is the main major target. But it’s just not so many of us having a fully worked strategy to achieve it and this one is a problem.

When I was in elementary school (wew, a long time ago!), I like to learn mathematics a lot. It is challenging and it is like a game. Well, I know this not a common perspective but let’s just keep reading. My school teacher asked me to join a competition and I thought it was good for me, I like crushing competitors – in my video game. I joined the competition and I lost, yeah, lost in the first qualification. With this failure on mind, I think I have never dreamed to be a medalist in national mathematical olympiad. I think it would be super hard for me who does not have the most up-to-date technology to read ebooks, more than enough money to spend on math courses, or schooled in a top rated school. I took part on some regional math competition when that time but I just kept coming home with nothing to be proud of. The same cases were happening when I was in junior high school, but thanks God it was better, at least I managed to be on the top three. In the selection of province team for national olympiad, I was sick before the D-day! I directly knew that I will not make a way to the national olympiad. And one more time I lost, again. May father once said to me, “Hey son, do not be a loser again. I am sick to watch you being a loser.” I soon realized that winning regional competition is not a big thing. I started to wonder what is atop of it. The answer is being a national medalist! It was the first time on my life when I braced myself to dream higher. Dream my ‘impossible’ thoughts.

When time passed and I was on high school, I eagerly signed up for the school olympiad team and got selected. I learned the three years curriculum on my first two months in my first year. By the help of my senior, teachers, and ebooks (I learn English written textbook this time, not like before when I have never read a single book in English but Bahasa Indonesia), I made a way into my first national olympiad. I felt great about it, but I know that it is nothing but tiredness if I went home with nothing – I mean without a medal. So, I kept learning harder to achieve my dream: to be a national math olympiad medalist. And yep! I won a bronze medal! There is a great pleasure and gratitude to everybody who helps me coming to this point, they my God, my parents, my sister, my seniors, my teachers, and my province govt. Being a medalist, I am eligible to join the first national training selection program for International Mathematics Olympiad 2015. I had been doing my best until I dropped sick of cough, a bad one, and missed many points on two test (it offers 8 problems in total). I felt stupid to let myself sick because when the announcement made and I could not pass the selection, I knew that I only need 1.5 problems solved to be enlisted as the qualified ones (I asked the last qualified friend of his point and soon know how much point is the cut-off).

Now I know that actually I can do that thing. I can pass the first selection program to the second one. I know it is possible. Though many doubt it. I did a reflection in finding answer why I lost. I know that it is not my body which makes me fell sick – it is my mentality. I was not prepared to win. I did not feel sure that I can do it. I want to make excuses to my ‘prospective’ failure. Yeah, sometimes when the condition gets worse, I prefer to make an excuse of the soon-happened-failure. At this moment when I am making this post, I know it is so WRONG and it is obvious. I was stupid to doubt myself and I will not do that again. I promise it to myself. Like the philosopher said, the biggest enemy of you is yourself.

Dreams is not bestowed, it is achieved!

Posted as a reminder to myself not to doubt myself anymore.

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