Hi there, When I was a child I had a natural inclination towards numbers and learned numbers before alphabets. However, due to bad teaching, I lost interest in the subject but still managed to score good marks in it throughout school. When I came to pre university classes, I regained some of my lost passion for Maths. I am in college now and have started reading a lot of Maths and this always bothers me. I have noticed about by personal temperament that I learn better on my own than I do under authority. I learn better when I am reading books and studying on my own than when I am sitting in a class and listening to six hours of people talking. So, when I develop an interest in a subject, I learn a lot about it on my own. I had a lot of interest in Maths, not necessarily the Maths taught in college and in the second semester I realised I could indulge my need for learning on my own. Till that time, I always depended on school to learn subjects like Maths and Science and never thought I could do it on my own. With this revelation, I went down the rabbit hole. I started reading lots of Maths books. Books about Maths history (Journey Through Genius, A History of Mathematics by Victor Katz), books about recreational Maths(books by Ian Stewart, Martin Gardner, Ross Hosenberg), books about problem solving(Thinking Mathematically, Arthur Engel, Alan Schoenfeld, Sanjay Mahajan), and books about particular topics in Maths that I had no idea about like Visual Complex Analysis by Tristan Needham. There were many other books that I started reading. I should note that I never finished any of these books. I would read a little bit, and then get scared of not understanding something and then reading another book and returning to it once again (or sometimes not). I did this for the sheer joy of learning. I enjoyed studying Maths more than I ever did in all my school and pre-university years. In fact, for many years I did not enjoy studying Maths in school inspite of an inclination towards the subject in my early childhood. I often got intimidated by books like Arthur Engle which dealt with training for Olympiad. If I could not solve those basic problems, how could I hope to understand differential equations. However, my worry may have been misplaced because the Engineering Maths class in college which included differential equations needed a greater amount of mathematical knowledge, but not a greater amount of mathematical skill than the problem solving book. So, even though some of my peers think I'm good in Maths because I solve certain questions in class quickly or that I understand mathematical ideas quickly in class, or because I've heard the name of a famous mathematical problem, anecdote or mathematician a teacher brings up in class, they don't understand it's because I already spent a lot of time reading about other such ideas even if I didn't read that exact same idea. I didn't know it would help me in understanding that particular idea in class nor was that my motive, but it coincidentally did. It's just because I have spent a long time developing a vocabulary of mathematical ideas, and tricks, and the history o mathematics, not because of some divine talent. I am made severely aware of my lack of talent when I go through books like Arthur Engel's, especially when I realise kids work through that book to prepare for the Olympiad exam which I didn't know what was until a year ago (at 18 years). So yes, maybe I can solve that differential equation or Fourier transform quickly but mostly because they're just quick applications of formulas ... Just advancing knowledge not skill. It always bothers me that if I don't have enough skill to solve the simple (or perhaps elementary is a better word) problems of an Olympiad book, how could I ever apply skill I'm more complicated concepts like differential equations and Fourier transforms and such. Even though my marks may be high in the university exams because they deal with the same type of standard questions, which test breadth and knowledge not depth and skill, I feel like a fraud because I'm simply aware of my stark limitations by Olympiad questions. Is it still possible to be a computer scientist or a mathematician ?