What I want to be when I grow up.

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Currently, I am attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for a degree in Computer Science and minor in BioEngineering and I want to change humanity. I want to slow/halt the aging process and I simply don’t know how…

I realize it’s a bold statement. I also know that I have always put forth my best effort no matter what the cost and so far (at my ripe old age of 20) I have gotten everything I want through sheer hard work and determination. Unfortunately, when I go straight out and tell people this, I see their attempts to avoid mockery and I can’t help but ask the question: Am I insane?

My Dilemma

I don’t feel insane; in fact, quite the opposite. I feel I’m rather down to Earth and the rest of the world is a little off its rocker. I think it is insane that I cannot work in academia on the project, for it would require too much time spent with bureaucracy, finding grant money, hiring students, teaching, accepting/declining applicants to the college, and years spent in a PhD program with a 50/50 chance of getting a poor mentor. No, I don’t think there would be anywhere near the man/brain power required via that route. So the only alternative I have for my “insane” project is working in the private sector.. hmmm, more insane? Who would be willing to invest, say, 2 or 3 billion dollars on a “likely” impossible task of developing multiple drugs/nano technology capable of altering a human being a thousand different ways. No one would. Leaving me with one option, to start my own company.

Interestingly enough that’s the part that I find insane, that no one is willing to put forth the effort to do it the way it should be done, by putting forth the same amount of effort it took to get to the moon. Clearly it’s possible (a few years ago I read a study where they doubled the life expectancy of mice through changing one enzyme). I also assume that it would gain you a Nobel Prize and/or bring in billions of dollars, and yet the efforts I can find all seem half cocked. Yet, no company has ever gone out with the sole purpose of increasing the life expectancy of the average Joe as its sole purpose and managed to gain enough traction.

Unfortunately, I realize as people stifle their laughs when I tell them, “I want to try to live forever” that no one believes it is even possible, and in turn will never commit to such a company.

Leaving me with a giant question, what will I be when I want to grow up? In a world where I have been mocked more times than not, is it even worth it? I want to change the world into a better and healthier place, yet it seems the world doesn’t have the same goals in mind. Leaving me with a vague notion to start a company and hopefully build it up (over how many years?) and hope for success.


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