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Orji: Accountability partners: Not just glorified study buddies

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

One of the first things that we are taught in college is the importance of accountability. Staying accountable and on top of your responsibilities is a main aspect of university life. In this stressful and overbearing environment of online education, having someone who can help you stay on top of things is a great way to not fall too far behind this year.


For a lot of us, online school can be a mixed bag. Some of us may prefer it, while others dislike it. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan, mainly because it can be so hard to keep yourself on top of the online lectures and assignment deadlines. However, this is the perfect time to incorporate an accountability buddy to help out with just that.

College this year is a little more difficult than it usually is. So, as students, we need to set up an accountability system that caters to our strengths and weaknesses — especially one with other students who understand how liable we are for the quality of our (expensive) education.

Building and maintaining a routine that keeps you productive throughout the week is not as easy as it seems. Sometimes we do need someone or something to help keep us focused and motivated on the road ahead. Think a close family member, a roommate, your best friend, an online friend group — heck, even a furry friend could do!

An accountability buddy is simply someone who regularly checks in on us concerning a particular set of goals that we have for ourselves. These goals can be whatever is essential for the individual. Whether it is a daily gym commitment or staying on top of discussion posts, this relationship is usually reciprocated, as both parties keep each other accountable or even have similar goals.

In other cases, the relationship could also be one-sided with one person checking in on another and making sure that they are not neglecting their responsibilities. In other words, an accountability partner is there simply to keep a person honest about their achievements. If you are looking for a buddy like this, there are even places where you can hire someone to keep you accountable. 

“In other words, they can be one of your biggest cheerleaders, and vice versa! “

Accountability partners can go a long way in assisting each other with various needs for this semester and maybe even beyond, with one of their most important functions being that they are instrumental in keeping you honest about your habits and how these could possibly complement your goals.

Forbes discusses how to be a good accountability buddy, including creating action plans and checking in on each other.

Bad habits are one of the main reasons why it is so hard to stay on top of responsibilities. Staying in bed for too long, procrastinating and doing the bare minimum in online classes often leads to students falling behind during the semester. So it’s pretty helpful when you know you have someone to help you break those habits.


An accountability buddy can also help you solve a problem, be motivating, increase consistency and provide a different point of view that you may not have initially considered. In other words, they can be one of your biggest cheerleaders, and vice versa! 

Yet, with such a relationship, one of the most important expectations is to maintain a consistent channel of communication. That is, always understand each other’s boundaries and how to address them. Regardless of whether it is a one-sided relationship or not, remember that your accountability buddy is a human as well and that they have their own responsibilities and concerns. 

They are not a mentor and neither are they a therapist. My advice is to always check in on them before you choose to vent or rant about something going on in your own life. They are here to help you build consistency and maintain a routine, not to solve all of your problems. 

While it’s always great to have your accountability buddy be physically close to you, please make arrangements around that in case that’s not always possible because of social distancing guidelines. For example, incorporate a communication hour in the schedule or set up occasional meetings and phone calls for updates. 

However, if you feel like you crave extra support, join in on the conversations around health; mental, emotional and physical well-being; and stress that is provided by the Colorado State University Health Center. The CSU Health Center also provides counseling services that are available by phone or secure videoconferencing and offers a range of services toward feelings of stress, uneasiness, loneliness or anything else. 

If you’re having a hard time staying on track this semester, try searching for someone who you feel could help you with this issue. In my experience, my accountability buddy relationship was with my first-year suitemate, and together we helped each other improve our grades and eating habits and meet our personal development goals.

Joslyn Orji can be reached at or on Twitter @lazy_svndae_.

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