Disclaimer: Everyone has a different experience with the CA course. This was my personal experience, yours could be entirely different, and it’s completely okay.
So, I was fiddling around Quora looking for some ideas for my next article when I came across a question, “Have you left CA midway?”. Since I had, I clicked on it. There was an anonymous answer from 2019, which could have had my name on it. If you are interested, you can find it here.
While reading that answer, I tried to find the option of ‘I’m in this photo and I don’t like it’, but sadly there wasn’t any.
Jokes aside, I was an academically good student in school. I took commerce because I wanted to study business and economics, while my family wanted me to go for PCM/B. Since I come from a small city, I didn’t know about many options, except for the standard CA, CS, and CMA, and CA was surely the most lucrative and ‘prestigious’ among them all.
I also wanted to study at a good college and have the much-talked-about college experience. But the Delhi rape case was so much in the news that doing my graduation from there was a no go.
Hence, I was enrolled in a college in my hometown that I didn’t even want to attend. I knew that college wouldn’t offer me the kind of exposure a tier-1 college would, but I still somehow ended up there. I didn’t attend many classes, so I could definitely be wrong, but I had my prenotions and the few classes I did attend made me feel like I didn’t belong there.
On the other hand, I joined the CA course and started preparing for it without having any idea of what the course was like or the kind of job I’d be doing after completing the course. (Huge mistake!)
I prepared for my CPT, cleared it, started preparing for IPCC, and started losing myself in the process. I was miserable with my college life (or the lack of one) but I was already in the second year and thought its better if I just finished it. (Again, a mistake)
CA was interesting in the beginning mainly because of its newness. But to be honest, as I continued, I realized I didn’t enjoy even a minute of it. The subjects seemed mundane, and there were zero practical learning whatsoever. And it all made me lose whatever little interest I had in the course.
I still continued because it was me who chose to do CA, and I didn’t want to let anyone down, including myself.
The cycles of preparing for the same subjects again and again and giving exams every 6 months was daunting. To avoid the questions of ‘beta, kya kar rahi ho aaj kal?’ I stopped going out and meeting people altogether.
I did start a content website while I was preparing for CA, and it was doing well, but the constant failures in the CA course brought me to a point where I felt I would fail at everything I do.
I was always anxious thinking what if I fail? I was afraid of failing in something I had no interest in. This fear of failure made me lose interest in everything else I liked to do. I started having palpitations and sleepless nights. I realized that I needed to consult someone.
And so, I was on a psychiatrist’s chair, telling them the stories of my failure and them telling me I had impostor syndrome and diagnosing me with ADHD and generalized anxiety disorder.
Was my anxiety entirely the result of the CA course? Probably not, but it surely was induced by it at some level.
I had realized that the course wasn’t for me, and I still continued it. Maybe some people would argue that almost everybody faces failures in the CA course, how they learn to deal with it, and how I didn’t have it in me. And I’m telling you, I didn’t. I’m not someone who could go through the same things again and again, even when it’s something they don’t want to do. By all means, you do you. Because that’s not even the problem I’m trying to point out here.
So many people are stuck with the CA course because of all the wrong reasons. Some even after realizing that they don’t want to do it, some because their parents want them to continue it, and some simply because log kya kahenge?
If you are someone who is at any level of the CA course, continuing it even when you know it’s hampering your mental peace, or doing it for any other reason than because you truly like the career prospects of the course, then please leave it. Trust me, it’s not worth dwelling over something that is not giving you happiness and makes you lose confidence in other things you excel at.
Did writing this article make me fixate on everything I feel I have done wrong? Yes. Did it make me book another appointment with my therapist? Yes. Was it still important for me to write this? Definitely, yes.
All I want to say is, Chartered Accountancy is an amazing profession, but it’s not the only profession. I chose writing full-time instead of continuing CA, you could find something you’re interested in. The world doesn’t end with which course you picked while you were in high school, you most definitely don’t have to be stuck with it.
I sought help when it became too much for me to handle. If you are someone who is facing any issue, please seek professional help. It does help a lot.