The Sunbaked King


I took my first actuarial exam on November 4, 2004, a little less than 4 years ago. Two weeks prior the BIG date, the first half of my 4th year in college came to a temporary halt; sem break had just started. While my other friends in the dorm were out in Boracay or abroad or vacationing in their provinces, I chose to stay put, knowing that if I went home, I wouldn’t be able to study for this BIG exam.

So stay put I did. For two weeks, I woke up at 8 AM, went to McDonald’s Katipunan to study with Joey at 9 AM, and didn’t go back home until it was 6 PM. I thrived on Double Cheeseburger (hold the pickles, please) and Large Coke. I helped burn down several trees by solving on pages and pages of yellow pad paper. And from pressing the calculator too hard, I had unconsciously embossed my fingers with squares the size of a calculator key.

I passed. For the heck of it, I checked out my old blog entries to see if I wrote anything about the MOMENTOUS event. I did. This was what I wrote back then:

January 21, 2005

It’s the actuary profession for me, baby!

Finally, I find time to blog about this. Hee. All these posts but no post about passing the exam? Well, here it is: I PASSED THE FIRST OF SEVERAL ACTUARIAL EXAMS. I didn’t write about this right away, because I wanted to write about it in the way most representative of what I felt during the day I found out about the results. 

Eyes: Passing Candidate Numbers: 11038. 
Mouth: I passed! [grins] 
Brain: YOU PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Heartbeat: DUGGG!!! DUGGG!!! DUGGG!!! DUGGG!!! DUGGG!!! 
Mouth: I passed!! [grins wider] 
Brain: Maybe there’s an error. 
Heartbeat: DUGGG!!!! [stops] 
Mouth: [wide O] 
Eyes: Passing Candidate Numbers: 11038. 
Eyes: Passing Candidate Numbers: 11038. 
Eyes: Passing Candidate Numbers: 11038. 
Mouth: I PASSED!!! [a wider grin, if that was even possible] 

My non-sem break was worth it. The endless computations were worth it. The McDo breakfasts, lunches, and dinners were worth it. 

I feel exhilarated once again. Perhaps I should opt to take the next test this May? Hee. ACTUARY, here I come!

It’s funny; almost four years and six more exams later, nothing much has changed. Replace McDonald’s Katipunan with Starbucks 6750 or Seattle’s Best Coffee, exchange the Double Cheeseburger with a Triple Espresso Cafe Mocha, and adjust the waking hours to something a little later, and I end up being in the exact situation– studying for an exam, struggling to pass, sacrificing what little time I have for everything else. 

The only difference was, I failed this time around.

Amazingly, for someone who cries the night before an exam he feels he’s totally unprepared for, no tears fell when I heard the bad news. Perhaps it’s because I knew that my shot at passing was slim; I knew it days before when I could barely concentrate on my readings, I knew it midway through the exam when I couldn’t properly eat lunch; I knew it afterwards when everyone was talking about their answers and I could not believe why I didn’t answer that. In other words, it was an expected event.

But perhaps there’s another reason why I didn’t cry over the failure. Because like everything else that remained unchanged after four years, one thing still rings true: I still want this. The exhilaration of passing motivates, yes, but the pain of failing challenges. At the end of the day, whether I’m giddy at a positive result or grieving over a negative one, the only question I’ll have to ask myself is this: How loud can I still exclaim, “ACTUARY, here I come”?

Right now, my answer’s clear: pretty loud.

(Oh, in case you’re wondering what the entry title’s all about, well, that’s my grade. The passing mark’s a 6.)


Filed under: Rat Race

7 Responses

  1. joeysince1983 says:

    Oh my gash, the good ol’ days! The stress, the push to study hard, the youth-ness and bitchiness… haha! 🙂

    …and i can relate :((

    Move on lang nang move on ker!!! 😀

  2. kerwinray says:

    Yep! I just read. 😦 Sige lang, Joey, kaya naman kasi natin to! 🙂

    Nakakamiss yung McDo days natin no? Double cheeseburger tayo pareho without anything on it! Hahahaha

  3. ella says:

    Aw Kerwin that’s too bad… But I’m sure you’ll make it the next time around. ^^
    My HS (genius) friend Rachelle failed din her actuarial exams the last time, and this time around she made it. Eh you’re a genius too, diba. ^^

  4. mak says:

    🙂 It’s alright Ker. It’s but a small bump in the road. Just be positive, and all that.

  5. kerwinray says:

    @ Ella: Hey, you know Rachelle Ureta? Hahaha. Small world. Yep, she didn’t make it the first time, but she nailed it this time. She was the only one who passed! Imagine!

    @ MakMak: Yep, I know. I’m not really that affected. My officemate commented nga, “Parang hindi ka malungkot.” Why so serious, right? 😛

  6. ella says:

    I know! I’m so proud (and if you see her tell her our next outing is definitely on her)! ^^
    She’s my high school kabarkada. How do you know her? Manila is a tiny tiny place. hahahaha

  7. kerwinray says:

    Uhm, let’s see. She’s a close friend of an officemate. UP people. And Joanne Lodia (don’t know if you know her), also came from Pisay.

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