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which one is harder to "obtain"
and which one would you prefer?
I think I used to want to be really smart, but the people viewed as "smart" (research awards, USAMO, RSI, etc) by us, or who regular people who don't know much about college and this stuff, are people who get where they are because of their passion.
there are many intelligent people in this world, but sometimes they're unrecognized because they're not passionate about anything.
I think you're lucky if you're born smart, but you're even luckier if you're very passionate about something and spend a lot of time on it (or even if you're passionate about...everything! I know people who have at least 5 or 6 passions--and not mini-passions or wishy washy "I'm president of the ___ club so that must show passion" types. Each one of their "talents" is enough to stand on its own and make CCers go 0.o). Unlike some of us who just do a bunch of little things without really knowing what we like the best.