I tutored my cousin today. It was pretty fun to explain some of the math that I’ve been learning these last couple months. Explaining math always makes me wonder if becoming an actuary is really for me, or if my heart is really in teaching.
I like teaching a lot. Getting to know my students and seeing them progress is very rewarding. When I taught a couple calculus classes in graduate school, I often spent more time preparing for teaching my class than I spent working on my own research. I’m pretty good at teaching too; my students gave me flattering evaluations.
After I finished my masters, I starting thinking about what’s most practical rather than what’s perhaps most fulfilling. Becoming an actuary is the most financially rewarding way to utilize my advanced math training (besides cheating at gambling or something). While teaching is great, I would make half the money that an actuary makes, probably less. If I want a chance at being financially secure and be able to provide for my eventual child (and maybe my parents in their old age), shouldn’t I choose a profession that will help me achieve those goals?
The actuary field is interesting too. Learning about how to use the math behind insurance and risk management has been really fun. Unfortunately, the road to becoming an actuary is very difficult and insanely competitive. This first exam for which I’m preparing is already pretty tough, but the rest of the exams are just as difficult, if not more so. I don’t know if I have what it takes to make it.
As I get older, I’m starting to think more like an adult. That is, I’m starting to consider long-term goals and thinking about what I need over what I want. It’s weird, realizing I’m not a kid anymore. Are being practical and being happy mutually exclusive?
No matter what, I have to just give it my all and study for my upcoming actuarial exam. After the exam, I can decide whether becoming an actuary is right for me. If I think too much about it now, I will screw up my chances of passing the exam and the decision will be made for me.
Oh, and speaking about my cousin, I tried not to say too much when she mentioned that Dumbledore is gay. It seemed like she didn’t think it made a big difference (which it really doesn’t). I wonder if she would think the same way if she knew I’m gay. Even if she would, I still won’t tell her for a while anyway, knowing how gossip spreads in my family.