CPA Story: A dream that started with a single step

My CPA story is neither one with the highest achievements, nor is it the one of the most struggles; rather it is about an average student who believed he can bring change through his dreams despite the challenges, an average student who pursued progress no matter how small, an average student who succeeded not with talent but with small and simple actions, and faith.

It was only until my last year of high school when I realized my purpose and mission in life and that is to reach out to others and make an improvement in their lives no matter how small. I graduated without any distinction. I even thought that I will not be able to pursue my college degree due to my financial condition and due to my competence. I was average in all aspects but I had a passion for success and a hope for the future. During my college days, I sold ice candy, became a walking sari-sari store, and played chess with my grandfather to add to my allowance. It was a way to earn extra money while serving the people at my college by bringing convenience. At first I was shy and hesitant, but I knew that nothing was wrong with what I was doing. I had a problem and I applied solutions through legal means. As every great journey is told it all started with a single step. During my first year of studying in PUP, I just aimed to pass my exams and to have an enjoyable college life. But because of the harsh conditions (MAINIT DUN PARE!) and the extreme pressure that we faced at PUP, I knew that I should step up my game if I wanted to be a CPA. Glory to God, I only almost took the retention exam because of Algebra. Yep, that’s right. Great Accountancy students are not always great at math. Having survived first year, my second year of college was wherein I started to be placed in the honor’s section. My classmates were so smart and hardworking that I was left behind. I was failing quizzes, and I could not keep up with the expectations of our professors and the pace of the people from our section. Most of the time I was thinking of shifting courses and how would I say it to my family, but I knew if I gave up now I would be forever be giving up on my future endeavors . After my 2nd year of college everything became a routine – wake up, study, eat, sleep, and then repeat. Sometimes you (baka ako lang lol) even forget to shower. Although routinary, the coming years became harder. I woke up early to study, played chess in the afternoon, and then studied again until late. Each year passed adding more hours to my study time hours and leaving less time for rest, less time for family, but I made it a point to never leave out praying!  Motivation was fading but I had dedication. Failure was becoming but I had persistence. Struggles were growing, but I had faith! By grace, God let me graduate with honors.

The last part of my CPA story was in my review school (God bless CPAR). For the first three months I was in a slow pace, which was why I panicked in the last month before the board exam. I was so anxious! More materials were coming out and I was not even done with what I have. I kept on buying handouts and books just to leave them unused or as scratch papers. I felt fear like never in my life. I cried almost every night, more when the exam was coming close. I even considered delaying my exam to May 2019. In the midst of my despair and hopelessness, I prayed. Despite the rush of the moment, I prayed. It was then God showed me that when prayer becomes a habit, miracles do in fact become a lifestyle. Instead of overwhelming myself with numerous study materials, I prayed. October 6, 2018 – the date was very memorable because I got up before my alarm rang. It wasn’t because I woke up earlier than my alarm, it was because I haven’t slept. Four years and half a year, five and a half for some, all summed up and tested in six examinations within less than eighteen hours! That could probably explain why I couldn’t sleep the night before the first exam. Fortunately, God uses His instrument timely and my dad drove me to my testing site. He didn’t make the exam easier, but He certainly made me believe in myself.

The exam was not like how everyone described it. It was unpredictable. It wasn’t something you could prepare for in 4 months. The exam was the accumulation of our knowledge from the very start of our studies. It was a test if you could be really part of a profession of integrity and competence. All the late nights, all the early mornings, all that coffee, all the missed family occasions, all the lost friends, all the precious moments sacrificed would prove to be fruitful in our final bout.

Most would say I succeeded because of luck, while some say it’s because of me being smart, and some because of me being industrious. I don’t agree with them. I succeeded not because of chance, and I most certainly did not succeed because of my own actions and capabilities. I succeeded because I had faith – faith that I would become a CPA, faith that my family and friends would love and accept me no matter what the result is, faith that made me wake up at 7 am every day the month before the exam, faith that made me read for an extra hour past 3 am, faith that made me attend my review sessions before the exam, faith that made me keep off Facebook addiction, faith that all my hard work would be fruitful, faith that I would be the instrument for change, faith that this is God’s destiny, faith in myself. All those small steps coupled with a whole lot of faith. Now that was the reason I succeeded.

If one average mediocre student succeeded in his studies by small actions with faith, then I believe that the same can be done to other aspects of our life. You want to have that summer bod? Have faith that you can and stop eating those French fries. You want to stop climate change? Have faith that you can and put that wrapper in your pocket. You want a better country? Have faith and take the simplest action such as voting for the right person. You want to change the system? Have faith that you can and be the change in the system in the smallest and simplest way you can! It doesn’t matter if you’re the smartest, the strongest, or the fastest. Remember that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. God bless and Godspeed, have a great day beautiful people.

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About the Author

Samuel Cedric Siquian
Samuel Cedric Siquian
Sam ranked 14th in the October 2018 licensure examination for Certified Public Accountants.