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Life Lessons from Accounting 201

I am a communication studies major with minors in writing and marketing. I want to be a writer. Or a motivational speaker. I want to work at a nonprofit and continue to build The Smile Project. I am excited and hopeful and thrilled about my future.

I’m also in a Principles of Accounting class at school as required by the marketing minor. From the very beginning, I wrote myself off. I talked to my Financial Economics major friend and was ready to seek help and tutoring to pass the class.

I didn’t give myself a fighting chance. The first test was the Monday after Homecoming weekend, and while I’d like to come up with a million excuses for my 49/100 grade, I think the simple fact was: I didn’t study. I wasn’t prepared and I definitely wasn’t prepared for the glaring ‘F’ grade wake-up call that I received that next Wednesday.

I was almost in panic mode. I had never failed anything and here I was, on the verge of failing a class. Something had to change.

After class, I stopped by one of my favorite professor’s offices to read his constantly changing quote board. The words:

I read the quote about sixteen times before taking that picture and leaving with new determination. Two weeks later, Fall Break began and I hit the books. I threw everything into that thirty pound textbook. I was ready to go.

I was amazed at what happened once I began to apply myself. I paid attention in class. I contributed to the discussions. The homework wasn’t completely foreign. I could do this.

Toward the end of one class, as my eyes were starting to glaze over and all I could think about was the last thirty seconds, I caught this line:

“Restore things to balance and they will be okay.”

I quickly jotted the line in my planner and packed up for the day, but the quote kept ringing in my ear, and not for any reason an accountant could explain.

I started to wonder why things, at times, seem so messy. I thought of moments where I’ve been stressed out and overwhelmed and ready to hide in a pile of blankets because I just wasn’t ready to face the world.

Things were out of balance.

I think sometimes we all catch ourselves falling over our own two feet, tripping backwards as we try to do what we think is right.

I am incredibly guilty of this. I’ll work too hard and forget to have fun and relax. Sometimes, I’ll be too free and fall behind in my studies. And let’s not even get started on how last week I had hot fudge sundae Poptarts for dinner. So much for a healthy lifestyle.

Sometimes, we all get a little off track. But if we restore everything to balance—things always, always, always turn out okay. This past month has had me realize that my ignorance wasn’t in accounting—it was in my mindset. As soon I had the courage to belief in my ability, I began to succeed.

By the way…that last accounting test? 97%.

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