Regardless of how last semester went, take a deep breath and appreciate that it’s over, even just for a little while. The second semester is coming… but for now, enjoy the respite!

For most students, no semester goes as planned. The great study plans become “How am I going to get through all this?”; the determination turns into “Why do I do this to myself?” the ambition becomes “Is this really worth all the effort?”; and the fantastic marks we plan for fades a little until it turns into “How much do I really have to study to just pass?”. If this resembles you at all… I sympathise deeply. We’ve all been there to some extent. You’re totally normal.

Life doesn’t stop while you study. Your family and work responsibilities don’t leave you alone just because you have to study. In fact, sometimes it seems to get worse! I used to feel like the world waited until the day I registered for the semester and then dumped all sorts of unexpected stuff onto me. I could almost hear the evil giggles in the background. (Not melodramatic at all!)

Accounting students are generally perfectionists by nature. This means that you probably beat yourself up over what you didn’t get through after the exam and how you should’ve done things differently. At the time though, you did what you could… and sometimes that meant sitting at your desk staring blankly at the page, wondering what you’re doing with your life. Don’t beat yourself up… you did what you could at the time. Not only do you battle with the study material, you have to battle with emotions and stress and doubt as well… and that is as tough, (sometimes tougher) than any chapter! You just hang in there and keep at it. Next semester doesn’t have to look like this one if it didn’t go so well. If it did go well… that’s AWESOME! Keep doing what you’re doing!

It’s over, don’t agonise about your results. They can’t be changed. Face it when it comes. Don’t borrow stress from tomorrow. Just enjoy the little time left that you can talk to people without worrying that you should be studying. Watch TV, go to gym, go out… all those things you give up before exams. Enjoy life! Get your energy and enthusiasm back before you start all over again!

Whatever happens… know that you’re not alone! As a past student and now as a lecturer, I’ve ridden that rollercoaster, I watch students ride it everyday. So much of the contact I have with students is not about the work itself, it’s about all the other stuff… motivation, dealing with other stress, feeling mentally exhausted… and sometimes you just need to hear that someone else thinks you can do it, even if you can’t.

We’re doing the best we can to make the academic side of your studies easier because we’ve been there. Our journeys mean we can relate to you as a student better, and understand what you need to make each step of your journey a little less tough. We’ve got your back!

For now… congratulate yourself for constantly deciding to do what’s hard instead of what’s easier, because you believe there’s more out there for you. Forget those results for now. That decision to sacrifice now for rewards later makes you a success already!

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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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