It’s easy to accept that someone is proud of you when you’re successful. When you pass, reach your goal… of course people will be proud of you. But what about your failures? What about the times you didn’t reach those goals?

I want to tell you this… “I’m so proud of you”

Read that again. Absorb it. Accept it. I mean it.

For those of you who know me (if you don’t… read my journey here), you’ll know that this is not something I’d say lightly. I am not the type to tell you what you want to hear. I’ll tell you what you need to hear, and help you through the tough times… but I’ll always be honest, even when it’s what you don’t want to hear.

I had a chat to James Perry CA, Accounting Exam Coach, about how he sees students who fail, and whether he’d employ them.

Why am I proud of students who fail?

You chose to do it in the first place.

I know the journey, it’s tough. You knew it was going to be hard when you started… but you chose to try anyway. Thousands of people out there chose not to do it because it would be hard. You jumped in anyway.

You’ve made sacrifices to try something that you know isn’t easy

All of you have sacrificed to do this. Time, money, relationships, jobs, holidays, friends… you sacrifice these all the time. Every month, every week, every day… you make the choice to allocate your resources to studies rather than other ‘stuff’ in your life. Some of you have sacrificed from what you really don’t have to do this. I respect this.

You keep going, even when things go wrong

Yes, you’ll complain. Yes, you’ll cry and shout and vent about it… that’s totally understandable. But, you keep going. You sigh, and register again next semester, next year… to start all over again. Your goal is more important to you than the ‘bad’ feelings of failure. So many people would walk away, rather than face those feelings. I respect this.

You care, SO MUCH!

I’ve lectured THOUSANDS of students, (Mainly UNISA BCompt and CTA students) over the years, both face-to-face and online. The common thread for all of them… is how much they care about what they’re doing. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever come across a student who said to me “Meh, I don’t really care anyway…”

Of course, these studies are a path to a better career, financial stability (or buying your own island one day!), but the depth of your commitment to the work you put in is commendable. You don’t approach your studies carelessly. Perhaps sometimes, you care a little too much… I feel that too many students allow their studies to define them… it doesn’t! But, no matter what happens… you put everything you’ve got in there. I respect you for this.

You’ve tried something outside your comfort zone

Most of us prefer to stay in our comfort zones. Our brains like to keep us safe, and the easiest way to do that is to keep you in your comfort zone. Breaking out of that, to try something hard, and new… that doesn’t come easily to most people. Many, many people will find reasons not to try.

Somehow, you keep your sense of humour!

I know there are bad days… but I’m constantly impressed at how you encourage eachother, are able to laugh at yourselves for the stuff you know you suck at, and stay positive, rather than becoming bitter and resentful about your studies and the world.

Extra credit to distance students!

This is a special bunch of people, close to my heart. I’ve been there, so I know the challenges, the isolation, the uncertainty, the sense of constant ‘stupidity’ and fear. It feels like a constant ‘fight’. Fight for information, fight for help, fight for understanding, fight against your own fears, and sometimes… just the fight to open those stupid books when you REALLY don’t want to! For you… my heart is right there with you. I know you, like I know myself. I remember how I struggled. The tears and challenges. I respect you for doing this, and for that spirit that keeps going, even when you’re all alone and no one seems to understand why you’re hanging on so desperately.

I hope you really read this. Really accept this. Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. Who you are, who you become, is more about the journey you’ve taken, than the destination you’ve reached.

And a special word goes out to the UNISA CTA students… wow. I’ve been there. Anyone who goes through that deserves credit. You put SO much of yourself into that. I respect that. I really do.

I don’t care if you qualify through CA(SA); ACCA; CIMA, SAIPA… or never get any letters behind your name 😉 That’s not as important as WHO you are…

and I’m proud of you

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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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