10% talent and 90% hard work for UJ’s top student

​​​​​​First-year student Rezanne Neethling, who matriculated from Helpmekaar Privaat Skool, obtained an overall average of 93.4% at the Top Achievers award ceremony, held recently at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Rezanne is studying towards a Bachelor of Accounting degree​​

Since high school, accounting has always been one of her favourite subjects and was taught by a teacher who encouraged her to pursue a career in this field of study.

This top achiever comes from a family of four, consisting of her father, mother and a twin sister, Eduané. Her family always gives her the support she needs, always encouraging her to strive for the best. “My parents give the best advice and truly understand my fears, worries and what I expect of myself”, says Rezannne.

She is fortunate to have her twin sister also at UJ, who is studying towards an LLB Law degree, expressing how helpful it is to have someone by her side going through the same busy schedule, test cycles and even exam stress.

Like any other first-year student transitioning from high school to university, she also faced a few challenges, the biggest being establishing a fixed daily routine. “University doesn’t have the “safe” structure of being at school from 08:00-14:00 – you have to design your own time schedule. Establishing this routine also requires a lot of self-discipline, which can also pose some challenges,” she says.

It’s never an easy task to adjust to university life if you’re coming straight out of high school. It is extremely hard work and can be stressful. Being a perfectionist, she strived towards perfection in her academics as well. She acknowledged how privileged she is to have amazing lecturers in all her subjects, and how every single one of them contributed to her academic success in their own special way. They served as a source of inspiration and encouragement. It was Mrs Yolanda de Wet and Mr Jelvin Griffioen (Accounting) and Professors Lorraine Greyling and Hardus van Zyl (Economics) that helped her achieve the astounding top student average in her first year.

Her philosophy in life: “10% talent and 90% hard work. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy. So in order to get good grades, one has to be willing and determined to go the extra mile”, she says.

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