Finding a Passion for Learning

Written by Farah El-Agami: Farah El-Agami

Back in my last year of high school, I was as confused as a chameleon in a bag of skittles.  I couldn’t decide on one specific college major and career. I think I seriously considered most college majors, and I’d choose a new one every two weeks. It was like buying a new toy and throwing it aways as soon as you got bored.  As weird as this may sound, the college majors I chose ranged from Aerospace Engineering to Sociology and Psychology, so you can only imagine how clueless I was. I got tired of it after a while and was extremely unhappy about the fact that I couldn’t completely find myself in one specific thing. I mean, I knew that the only thing I was passionate about was Math, but I could never imagine what my career would be like if I graduated with a Math or Statistics major. I’m extremely career-oriented, so I didn’t want to choose a major that would oblige me to go into academia right away. Also, every time I tried to think of a major that uses or needs a lot of mathematics, I ended up with some type of engineering. So I was extremely frustrated because I never felt like any type of engineering would be something I’m passionate about.

But then, out of nowhere, my friend called me and told me to look “Actuarial Science” up and see if I’m interested. This was after her cousin told her that an Actuarial Science department had recently been founded at AUC, the university I was going to attend. At the time, I didn’t know what Actuarial Science was and I had never even heard of it before. I looked it up and I found myself reading and reading about something that seemed like it has been tailored for me. As soon as I understood what it was, I didn’t even think twice.

And now, three years later, I couldn’t be happier about making this choice. I never feel like my work is a burden because not only does it spike my interest in every way possible, but it also satisfies my need to be challenged or provoked by what I learn. This passion for what I do fuels my dedication to this career and my motivation to work as hard as I can.

I also find art in what I do. Sitting at my desk for hours, trying to solve or understand something, is as reviving for my spirit as painting is for an artist. I think I’m developing an obsession with the actuarial exams, and this career is exactly where I see myself in ten years.

And finally, one of the sayings I believe in the most goes: “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony D’Angelo. And this is exactly what choosing actuarial science made me develop; a passion for learning, a hunger for knowledge, and a curiosity that can never be fully satisfied.