Finally, exams are over and now those who had appeared in the exams can breathe a shy of relief and take a well-deserved break. Last few months must have been a very grilling and mentally exhaustive time. Even the strongest may break down. It takes a lot of patience and devotion to hold on to the routine and study for long hours. Even more, keeping oneself calm and composed during the exam hours is of upmost importance. One nervous step can ruin the entire hard work. I have seen students losing hope when one exam does not go as per their expectation and they lose the entire focus.
Never the less, CA exams not only test the knowledge, it also in a way test a person's ability to handle pressure and stress. Over the years, the competition has grown immensely and no one leaves any stone unturned. RTPs, PMs, Study materials, notes from best faculties, amendments, you name it and everyone is top notch. In the end, it all boils down to handling stress and giving the best no matter what. Being consistent gives an edge over others. Even simple act of keeping your hand-writing consistent towards the end of the paper as it was in the beginning, gives an impression to the examiner that this examinee is calm and composed may fetch you extra marks and this can be the defining factor in passing or failing.
Having said that, you deserve a good break. But the problem lies when this well-deserved break extends till January and you lose touch base with reality. We all must learn to balance life and realize our true potential. Now it is the best time to do self-analysis. There's no pressure of exams and since it's almost year-end, the environment is also festive and relaxing.
Statistically speaking, there are 12lac+ students enrolled in the course and we all know what's the success percentage. It really feels sad to see so many students stuck in the cycle of May and November. By the time you reach finals, you are no longer a vibrant teenage person. The pressure to settle down, start earning, get married, comparisons with others start to build up. Many feel helpless and start losing confidence. I personally feel there's a lack of proper guidance and mentorship. After investing so much time and hard work, it seems foolish giving up. And then there comes a certain stage in life when one starts feeling he has reached no point of return. Life seems stuck in one place. And slowly as time passes, patience level starts to erode. This situation comes in everyone's life and it is not built in over night. It comes because we did not plan few things properly and just played the game 'Jo hoga dekha Jayega'.
All I would urge our fellow students to start thinking realistically and positively. Start making small positive changes in your life. Small tweaks work wonder. Do not let your guard down and start breathing easy. This is the best time to sit, plan and execute. Remember time stops for no one and trying is far better than regretting later.
I have listed few pointers which may help you look forward for a positive future. But remember, planning is futile if there's no successful implementation.
1. If you have already given 2-3 attempts of final then start searching for a job where you can learn and as well as earn. Money is important in life and so is learning. Both give you high dose of confidence. Look out for opportunities in the field of IFRS , BASEL Norms, Liquidity reporting, Financial Analysis. If you can get into banking domain, you will have a great learning. Even roles like relationship mangers may help you brush up your interaction skills as you meet with so many high net worth clients. You would know about dealing with people and this is one of the best strengths to possess. Be practical in life, but that does not mean you should close the books and just focus on job and money. Always have that burning desire to clear the exam and take all those opportunities towards building a solid base for your upcoming life after you clear CA.
2. Introspect: Almost majority of the students fall into the category of 'lets see what happens'. Wait & Watch policy is the easiest one to adopt and many would go to that path. Deciding the course of action after results are out is the worst thing one can do with the time in hand. Being positive about results is good, but being realistic is even better. I would suggest to go back in time and re-visit the exam days and write down in a diary what went well and what could have gone better. This would help you introspect and help you learn from your mistakes. Even the best of the sport-persons watch their videos again and again to see where they made a mistake and try to amend it. This strategy would help you not only in exams but in life also. Like Swami Vivekananda has beautifully put ' Self analysis is the best tool for improvement and one who does not talk to himself at least once in a day would lose out on meeting the best person he could have ever interacted with.' Have a vision for yourself.
3. Make a 'To-Do ' list: Beyond studies, we all have some aspirations in life. But things take a back seat when we focus on other important things. Exams are surely important and giving time to it was the need of the hour. But now we must focus on things which we really wanted to do but couldn't due to lack of time. Even small things like learning Driving, a new language, exploring new places would give a lot of boost. Make a short-term list and a long-term list. When you actually do them and tick on the check list, trust me, it would give you immense confidence and happiness. So write down every small thing you always wanted to do and pursue them.
4. Start exercising: You don't have to hit the gym ,even few push-ups and jogging works wonder. If you can push yourself to wake up early and hit the jogging track, it would help building a stronger you. You would be doing yourself a great favor with just 20 minutes of jogging and 10minutes of meditation. But consistency is the key. You will always find excuses for not doing it regularly but find one reason for doing it daily, religiously. 'No matter What' should be the mantra.
5. Make a list of must-read books: Give yourself a target to finish at least 3-4 books before the results are out. You will see the difference in your mind set once you start reading good books. Don't just restrict yourself with motivational or philosophical books. Read thrillers, read economics/finance, read comics, read auto-biographies, just read. Buy-Borrow-Rent, books are the biggest asset you will ever own.
6. Open a D-mat Account: 'Share market is a gamble'. We have been told this since our childhood and many of us fear the share market. But you must understand what's gamble and what's taking calculated risk. We all are mature enough to understand where to draw the line. If you get lured in making money then you would in no time start losing money. Read annual reports, listen to investor calls/conferences, attend AGMs. You will find almost entire syllabus of CA curriculum in one annual report. Of course it is boring and lengthy. But if it were so easy and simple, everyone would have done it. Don't read an annual report like you study. Learn the art of going thorough it quickly and learn to read between the lines.
7. Start working on your communication skills and body language. It does not happen in a day. You have to be a better version of yourself everyday.
And the list is never ending....that's what life should be...we should never stop learning.
I wish everyone a beautiful life. Remember, the key ingredient to success is - Passion, Vision and discipline…but STARTING tops the list.