Yaugen Karakin, INCPAS Scholar alum and former INCPAS intern shares tips with future accounting majors on how to acclimate to college life.
Academics, social life and sleep are the three essentials for every college student. These activities seemed to flow so seamlessly in high school, yet unfortunately college students can only ever seem to successfully manage two of the three. This is referred to as “The College Triangle,” and after my first three semesters of college I can attest to the fact this triangle is real.
Coming into college it’s easy to be flooded with emotions - uncertainty, nervousness, anxiousness, fear, joy and most of all excitement - and I can relate to every one of them. All students may feel overwhelmed at times, and it’s important to realize that’s okay. Work through these obstacles during your transition and start paving your way to success.
The most important piece of advice I can give students is to stay focused and remember your reason for going to college. While it is truly an experience of a lifetime, it is not cheap and is not something which should be taken for granted.
When attempting to balance your triangle, always treat academics as your top priority. As a college student your only job is to be student. We attend college to build a better future for ourselves and our families, and the only way to be successful at that is to excel with academics.
Academics not only consists of getting good grades, but also engaging in your classes, networking and extracurriculars which will benefit yourself and boost your resume.
Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy yourself with your friends and attend social events, because let’s be honest your friends will greatly shape your college experience. For many college students, social life helps build character and assists with mental wellbeing. Make friends who will contribute to your success rather than hold you back. The friends you can study with, eat with and simply talk about life with are those who will become your lifelong friends.
Balancing your triangle is difficult, but one of your most powerful weapons is the ability to simply say “no.” The fear of missing out can drive you crazy. Seeing your friends going out on social media while you’re stuck in the library studying for your accounting exam might seem like a terrible decision, but after you get your exam grade back that’s above the class average will serve as a reminder you made the right choice. There are endless amounts of opportunities to go out and have fun in college, but you only get to take that exam one time. Sure, there might be that kid who seems to be able to have the craziest social life and also get the best grade, but I can assure you they are the outlier.
Lastly, please don’t forget about our friend sleep. I know how dreadful it is to get up for that 9 a.m. lecture in the freezing cold in the middle of January, but get your sleep, get out of bed and go to class. It is all worth it in the end.