As a high school senior looking at colleges, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. After long and careful consideration I chose to attend the University of Connecticut as an Actuarial Science major. When my family dropped me off at UConn in late August 2010, I was nervous, excited and ready to start a new chapter in my life. I had never been away from my family for more than a week in 18 years. For once I was going to have to rely on myself and show that I was a responsible adult. I spent the first few weeks of the semester focused on joining clubs, making lifelong friendships, and learning how to live on my own. Unfortunately, I didn’t put as much time into my academics as I should have. This carried on for the rest of the semester and when finals came around, I was anything but prepared. School had always been easy for me and I had expected the same to be true when I came to UConn; I was sadly mistaken. After a semester of not putting forth my best effort in all my courses I ended up with a mediocre GPA. Needless to say I was dissatisfied and I knew something had to change. I knew that some of the math/business courses that I was taking at the time (Calculus, Econ, etc.) were going to be the fundamentals for the complex actuarial courses I would need in order to pass my exams.
I entered my second semester not entirely sure if I was going to continue as an Actuarial Science major. I had a lot of doubt after my first semester and didn’t know if I would have what it takes to pass actuary exams. I decided to stick it out and that semester I made sure that I balanced both my school and social life. When it came time to take my semester exams, I was much more prepared. This became evident when I got a 4.0 for the semester. It might not seem like a big deal because it’s only one semester but ultimately, the perseverance and dedication I showed helped me stay in the actuarial field. Not long after that, I began passing my actuary exams. As of today, I have passed four. Ultimately it comes down to what you want for yourself. I chose not to give up on myself and to continue on in the hopes of becoming an actuary. It has been a lot of hard work and anything but easy, yet I’m proud of myself for pushing on and never giving up. Looking back on it, my first semester changed me completely. It helped me to become a better student, a better person, and a future actuary.