November 26, 2011

Hi blog!

Nope, I'm not 'back on track' about blogging as of yet.
I just need a place to blurt about the uncertainties about pursuing a career of being an actuary,
For future reference.

So this representative from Kent called me today, inputting loads of stuff about actuarial science in my brain, leaving me with a whole lot of questions in my head.
Being a representative from Kent, I expected her to sell her uni the best way she could ...
But there are not many neutral parties which I can seek advice from ...

Programming language, is it important?
Apparently, according to her (the representative), she said that Kent uses PROPHET, which is widely used in the industry. She said that Kent bought the rights to use that programming language (or something like that) with millions of dollars/pounds/*inserts currency*.
No idea how accurate is that claim ... but after some googling ... I don't see where it states explicitly that PROPHET is the only important programming language out there ... suspicious.

Makes me doubt the importance of programming language used at degree level ... but then again I can't be too sure about that. Heriot-Watt uses R or something >_> ...

My top 4 choices are now Warwick, Heriot-Watt, Southampton and Kent ... don't ask me why I don't like East Anglia ... gut feeling, maybe?

Warwick, well, for it's MMORSE. Since every uni that tried to sell themselves to me (i.e. Southampton and that rep from Kent) did mention that MORSE is a really good course. But course is course ... question is, how useful is it when I graduate? I don't know. I probably won't be doing actuarial science any more if I were to score an offer from them.

Heriot-Watt ... the very first uni in the UK to actually offer actuarial science. Feels like the pioneer in actuarial studies to me ... but that's just an impression. I was kinda attracted to the masters programme in Heriot-Watt, leaving me with only 3 papers after an extra year of studies, but I was told by the Kent rep that apparently, Kent's postgrad course for actuarial leaves only 1 paper after an extra year for masters (technically ... two, but I wasn't sure what she said. She emphasised on how it was better than HW's MSc. lulz)

She also mentioned that how a second year entry is actually harder to fit in ... and that one might miss out on certain stuff. I personally thought about that before, but I just thought it wasn't that significant. I might be wrong ...

Southampton ... love the thought of studying a degree that's called 'Mathematics and Actuarial Science' and not just the plain 'Actuarial Science'. May seem more challenging in terms of studies, but is it really necessary or practical during my work? That's ... another question. The guy from Southampton did say that it helps for ST papers and their graduates tend to finish those actuarial papers faster than others. Well duh, he is from Southampton =_=

Kent ... didn't really considered this as one of my options before getting a call from their rep, despite knowing that they are quite reputable in this course. Made me wanna change my UEA to City though ... Oh and about their 'year in industrial placement' ... she made it sound important, but then again she kept emphasising on how competitive it was ... probably wouldn't get it anyway.

Then my friend said that one of our mutual friends said that a guy from Bank Negara (yes, I know) said that (heh) this actuarial science thingy is a 'sunset business' and that new econs professions are emerging ... hmmm ... have to do more research about that.

TL;DR version:-
Importance of programming language
Future job prospects
Practicality of course in working field ...

Mafan =_=

April 3, 2011

Breakfast thoughts (and places?)

My mom brought me out for breakfast this morning. I ate while she went to settle some errands over at the post office (that turns out, wasn't open). While eating, alone, in the crowded coffee shop on a sunny morning, an elderly lady sat down at my table to have her breakfast too. Most older Chinese women in my country have this distinct flowery-patterned button-down shirt and a head that consists of a mixture of white, grey and black strands of hair. I hadn't noticed her face though, being preoccupied with my food.

I imagined looking up and seeing my grandmother's face (I tend to ''imagine'' a lot), but when her food arrived, I looked up and saw just another elderly lady's face. Although she was eating all by herself, she didn't struck me as one of those old people that are neglected by her children; for one, she ordered quite a nice meal with added ingredients and all. She probably enjoyed going to the market every weekend, since a lot of old people do (I assume).

I then continued pondering, what if my grandparents (particularly my grandmothers, since they are the only grandparents that I've actually met) are still alive and kickin'? Since I could drive and all. What would they think about my driving? I could be the one sending them to the market on weekends, while they complained that my driving isn't good enough or I brake too late or I needed to slow down.

I could only wonder.

Now that they had left the 'labyrinth of suffering' (that's a Looking for Alaska reference, by the way), albeit not fast and straight but somewhat less horrible than how most people step into the afterlife.

Question is, how would I leave the labyrinth of suffering? Will the end of the maze be the same for everyone?

Then after breakfast, I walked towards the post office, only to find it closed, and then to the car, to which my mom wasn't there as well. So the option left was to walk through the market, hoping to bump into my mom since her phone was with me and I couldn't call her.

This again, brought back memories of my childhood. I remember trying to keep up with my mom, and not losing my grandmother in the crowd at the same time. Though I would always end up looking for my mother with my grandmother or looking for my grandmother with my mom. It sucked but that routine made it's way into my mind ... so I guess that it was somewhat significant.

My hope of an adventurous exploration came to an end when I saw my mom minutes after walking into the market. I used to remember having a larger crowd ... maybe it was because I was smaller, well, literally.

I realised, that I do not fear walking in unfamiliar places. Even when I started college, having to take public transports to even unfamiliar places, I never had this sense of fear of strangers ... everything seemed like a new experience. But then again, why would I be afraid of mothers and their mother-in-laws?

This has been a very pointless babbling about these thoughts that go through my head. Yeah.

April 1, 2011

Post SPM results thoughts

Well, took me long enough to finally decide to sit down and blog about this.

Before I start, here are my results

Add maths
English (1A for 1119, woohoo~)


Bahasa Melayu
English in Literature

Bahasa Cina

The day before the results was a nightmare. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have worried so much, but we all know that's impossible.

So there was a lot of congratulating, stuff like that, and disappointments too.

I still remember the day before, while I was on my bed, ready for the sleep that was restless, I prayed that whatever the results were, I would be able to accept them.

And true enough, my results weren't tragically horrible, but it ain't exactly the most desirable.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful about the results, but there always was a hope that it would be better than what I had expected.

I felt that the results was really the result of the amount of effort that I had put into my studies: good yet not the best. Though I was a little disappointed for my English Literature paper ... sigh.

But really, there's nothing to regret about.

It is what it is.

Though an extra A would've gotten me another 2 grand, or 2 A's for another 4 grand.

But it's too late for that.

I don't know what my parents think though. Of course they would have hoped for 9A+'s, and my dad says that he is proud of my results ... but I will never know. Honestly, I think they expected better.

I moved on quicker than I had expected.

And before I know it, my SPM results will become irrelevant, as A-levels will soon overshadow it. Would I put more effort? Only time will tell ...

March 14, 2011

you should probably skip this ...

Hey ... wonder who am I greeting anyway.

It is the month of March already, and SPM results are coming out very soon. What am I expecting? Well, the dream is of course to achieve amazing results, followed by an array of prestigious scholarships, waiting for me to pick from and continue this life of smooth sailing till I step into the working society.

Ain't that an awesome dream?

Results will probably be ... average? I am not exactly the extremely hard-working student that gets the best results, nor am I a genius in any way. Sure, I am also not the 'average' student, but I do not see myself anywhere near being of what I consider as good.

Then again, there is also the horrifying possibility that my results would be less than expected ...

Being in college, once again, I feel the never-ending need of excelling. Let's face it, the chances of being the absolute best at something is close to zero, as there are only so many things one could be the best at but way too many contestants the competition. For me ... it's never good enough. Oh sure, I may have one of the best results in certain subjects, in my school, but it ends there. The cold and hard reality is that any other school could have a whole class that could easily defeat me in any sort of competition ... so what does that make me?

There's this Chinese saying, about not being able to compare with those better than me, but also being a lot better than those that are not as good as I am. As poorly translated as that was, it seems to encourage people to be contended with their lives. But really, what's the point of just being average? It's things like these that that makes me loathe competitiveness, but one could not live without competing. Sure, one might argue that a competition is never about winning, but it sucks to lose all the time!

I have always envied the Americans, because from what I notice from my limited exposure towards them, a lot of them seem to support their daily lives by doing things that they love, and are passionate for. That might not be the case for the majority of foreigners, but it seems that those life choices only exist in western countries. In Asian countries, particularly as a Chinese living in Malaysia, most career choices are based on what brings in the most cash, not so much on interest.

But then again, given the opportunity to do the thing I love ... well, I would be lost, since I do not know what exactly am I passionate for.

Till now, I have doubts about being an Actuary. One of the many reasons of choosing that as an answer to all those never-ending questions regarding what do I aspire to be, is it being somewhat related to maths, and it being one of the jobs with a high salary. A part of me wishes to polish my writing skills, hoping that I could write articles or books, but that again, faces tremendous challenges as I'm not a born writer and it seems as though my skills could never improve. Furthermore, I could NEVER picture myself writing for a living.

Okay, leaving that hanging, aside from academic stuff, there's also personality and leadership qualities to work on. The word leadership makes me nauseous. I personally despise the fact that every single one of us should be a person with the ability to lead, being in high spirits and all ... Why couldn't I be that shadowy character in novels that are not leaders but possesses an ability that separates me from the others? Why must I be a leader? Maybe I'm not seeing the big picture here, maybe I'm just not mature enough, or maybe I'm just not a leader. I guess I hate having to be someone that I am not meant to be ... Or maybe it's the quality of a leader that is somewhat condescending, far-to-reach and not-that-down-to-earth that seems to be the case for most of the time.

And the never-ending wall of pointless text goes on and on and on ...

I shall (hopefully) blog again, with thoughts that are much more organised ... as of now I only need some sort of an outlet to flush out some of them.

January 12, 2011

Hours spent in college


Thank God that my MQA/LAN subjects weren't on Monday ... or else I'd have 4 hours of nothing-to-do-time.

Anyways, happy birthday to me :(
*my blog is like my emo outlet =.=*

January 4, 2011


I don't even know why am I posting this.

January 3, 2011

Thinking too much?

As of now, I have several thoughts running through my head, entirely different yet parallel flow of thoughts ...

One of it is about my new college life, of course. Today was orientation. It was okay I guess. The director of the A-levels department made obtaining scholarship for tertiary studies abroad sound easy. He said, if I (or someone else) were to anyhow put a finger on one of the names in his list of A-levels students, and bet that they didn't get any sort of scholarship, I would lose. Sounds exaggerated, not that I'm complaining or anything, of course I would want to be one of the recipients of prestigious scholarships.

One of it is about my new college life too, but not of the same context. HELP. Far. Everyone tells me that. Furthermore, it appears to be a huge burden for my parents. So I start questioning, though keeping the questions to myself, why not just drop the scholarship and go for something nearer? Then, on the way to HELP this morning, I see parents bringing their children, way before daybreak, probably to a school that isn't nearby, for the sake of education. I guess sacrifices must be made ... since I've been having it easy for me since primary school and throughout secondary school. Time for some minor hardship? I guess the best way is to get behind the wheels as soon as possible or start using public transport.

Another one of it is again, regarding college life, and again, not related to those stated above. I have to keep reminding myself, that college life is comparatively just a small part of my life. If I were to make a big fuss about this, how could I possibly face larger challenges? A-levels is only 1 and a half years, whereas a degree would easily be 2 more, and if I were to be a certified actuary, there will be a minimum 5 years of hardship, sitting for professional papers, alongside work and probably with a family?!

I should've blogged about 2010. I felt like I didn't give myself an appropriate closure for the epic year. The celebration at She-Reen's house was awesome, albeit there wasn't booze or drugs that made us high, nor was there a lot of shouting or screaming, but I personally think it was the best new year celebration I'd ever had. If only more of us were there. Sitting in the park, just talking and chilling, one of the best things friends could do together. How I wish the night didn't end ...

So what more bullcrap could I come up with?

I realise I like to blurt a lot when I'm feeling a little moody.

I guess it meant that life was good since I had stop blogging for awhile.

Maybe it's time to be active again?

January 2, 2011



So I was on MapleStory,
Asking Aaron some questions regarding HELP College,
And another buddy of mine asked which college I was attending.

Turns out, he, too, is a SASA-rian and he's gonna be there at the orientation tomorrow, too!
Small world?


side note: anxiety is kicking in. D: