Five Tips to Survive in the Accountancy Course: Confessions of a Mediocre
Life is a constant battle indeed, you being the protagonist against yourself, other people, and the environment. I believe many students share the same sentiment as I do especially those majoring in accounting. The way up to being a CPA is a tough ladder with rungs that might break in every step you make. Yes, I'm also an aspiring accountancy student who, if heaven permits, will finally obtain a CPA license in less than a year. It's no joke from the very start of the ladder I've taken since I'm not that gifted academic wise. I really screwed up almost all the accounting subjects that I've taken save the Basic Accounting which I took during my second year. From then on, my grades dove down and at times went up so that it would look like a cardiograph when you draw it. Another bad thing is that in our department we have to maintain a grade of 85% for every subject in order to remain in the course. For this reason, we were reduced year by year until we were cut down to less than half now. We were like sand segregated from the gravel in order to befit the standards of a CPA. I, myself at some point also became discouraged, weary, and hopeless because I know that I'm just a mediocre who look up to the finest of our batch. Despite these negatives, remains a heart that infinitely thanks God for reaching this stage so far. To this end, I want to share five simple tips that might help those who are about to choose the same ladder as I did and those who are already in the struggling stage of their college life.
In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
In business, there are what we call strategic, tactical, and operational plans. Just like what businesses do, planning has become a routine for me just when I realized how time can become so golden in college. With a very limited time, I had to make sure that I allocate enough attention for every subject so that I won't be empty-handed in surprise quizzes and recitations. I made my personalized schedule, the format illustrated above, to facilitate systematic flow of my activities. However, it must be remembered that one format cannot fit all. Others may create their own plans which are even more sophisticated and detailed. Bottom line, your plan depends on your needs. In every cell, I insert the date, the activities, and the corresponding time. In planning during weekends, I had to prioritize those subjects scheduled the earliest in the week. If several subjects fall on the same day, I rank them according to the level of difficulty. However, plans are alterable by their nature. There are intervening circumstances like laziness, distractions (for me it's watching my favorite shows), and other things beyond control that make it hard for plans to be perfectly realized. On that ground, you must always have an alternative in your schedule or Plan B to compensate the deviations from the original plan.
#2 Study Hard
As turning the logs will make a dull fire burn, so changes of studies a dull brain.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Drift-Wood, Table Talk.
The main purpose of going to college is to learn the dimensions of the course chosen to prepare students with the real life career they are about to take on. Through lectures and books I learned the basics though it wasn't that easy in the beginning. Reading a lot during highschool for me meant spending time on books for 3 hours at most everyday but in college it meant reading a book for at least 3 hours a day and reduced sleeping hours. Studying didn't revolve on books only because in this modern era, learning has become easier, thanks to the inventors of computer and internet. I coupled my books with the online reading materials and test questions which I think is effective.
#3 Discuss with Peers
Education is not an affair of 'telling' and being told, but an active and constructive process.
- John Dewey
Studying alone for quite long hours can be very boring at times, so instead of being a know-everything, I humbly ask my peer classmates on topics which I find difficult. This is what we call peer learning approach. According to Wikipedia, peer learning is an educational practice in which students interact with other students to attain educational goals. This way I can learn and at the same time I can interact with my friends and knock down the boredom.
#4 Health First
To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
Which is more important to you?
Assume that you have an exam today in a major subject but you feel quite feverish. Would you still go to school and take the exam?
Why did I ask those questions above? Well, you might find that your answers are contradicting to each other. It's very easy to say that health is your priority but sometimes reality proves it's not. Study hard that you may prosper in your undertaking but don't forget to take make your health your top priority. Once you feel something odd in your body, take the necessary actions. I once neglected a minor fever to take an exam but I really regretted it because it became so serious that I wasn't able to go to school for week. I also recommend eating nutritious foods like veggies and fruits. Taking enough sleep is also a key to understanding the lessons effectively. When I took up the maximum units in our course, I usually take a sleep for three hours at most upon arriving home and read my books subsequently. This way I realized that I was more effective in understanding the lessons than studying with a very exhausted mind.
# 5 Pray
I believe that being at this stage of my college life is through luck and effort. The ultimate Helper is truly God, without Him I can't do anything. I continually pray for the success of my plans and goals and even though there are trials along, I know that there is something special that He has reserved for me.