We want to get things right faster

I always agreed with the motivational quotes that ‘learning takes effort’ and that it ‘takes time’. But when it took ME time to learn something, when I couldn’t get something right, and didn’t understand it quickly, I panicked. The longer it took me to learn something, the more I worried that I wouldn’t be able to get it right, that there was something wrong with me, that I might not be smart enough to ever get it right. 

It was exhausting and I carried a lot of anxiety about this, throughout my studying. 

I find my students have very similar experiences.

Why do we have a desperate need to learn fast?

In the moment, at our desks when we’re alone, we definitely want to feel the progress of learning. We want to be able to FEEL that we’re smarter and know more when we get up from each study session. We want to know that we’re now able to get more marks.

When we don’t have that feeling, we don’t feel so good.

Where does this come from? Is it normal? Isn’t this the way EVERYONE feels?

People with a growth mindset don’t struggle with struggling… here’s why


  • Our studying approaches NOW, are based on the idea of learning we developed earlier in our lives.
  • The feedback you got at school impacts what you think learning SHOULD look like
  • If we got good marks at school, chances are we see ‘struggling’ as a bad thing
  • We are happy to keep putting in effort… IF we can see progress. When we don’t feel progress, we start worrying
  • Most accounting students have this challenge… for a REALLY obvious reason!

Consider this carefully. When you’re struggling, when you have higher levels of anxiety about not learning and getting stuff right faster, think about where this comes from for you, and whether it actually SHOULD apply to you. 

CHOOSE the way you study, consciously. Understand that learning might not actually work the way you thought it did!

If you can relate, or have a query...


  1. I think we want to learn faster because we only have a specific amount of time to learn the specific learning Unit. Its a race against time the whole year and that is why I want to feel that I know the stuff after I put in a couple of hours. There won’t be time tomorrow to revise, its today or never.

    • Yup, you’re totally right! We’re constantly balancing what we feel we need to know and the time we have to do it. This is a really common thing my students talk about, and I totally understand why… however, let’s step back a little. EVERYTHING we ever do in life has resource limitations. Every job, every project has a deadline, and in order to achieve our goals, we have to balance out all the resources with the task. So, this is not something that’s going to go away once our studies are done. We use the ‘time’ challenge as our issue, but that means that we keep using it as the ‘reason’ we’re not getting to the stuff we need to. So, let’s remove that and ask… what do we need to do to achieve our goals, and how hard are we holding onto the ‘feeling’ of comfort we’re trying to get to? Also… are we actually LEARNING? Or are we cramming and memorising? This is super-important, because a lot of our time disappears in the new year, redoing what we have just written an exam on… because we were never ‘comfortable’ with it, and also because we kinda ‘crammed’ it, and have forgotten most of it already. The reason that many students argue that the syllabus in Postgrad is SO massive, is because they’re ‘starting again’… instead of ‘carrying on’ their studying 🙂
      It’s a very real challenge… I’m not denying it… but since it’s not something we can change, we have to ask ourselves what we CAN change, and how! 🙂 And you know where to find me when you need some practical advice and help 😉

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Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

Yvonne Starkey CA(SA)

I coach accounting students who are struggling with their study habits and mindset, and want their studies to be as effective as they used to be. See more on my about page

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