You don't need another article telling you how challenging the IB curriculum can be. I am sure you must have read loads of blogs showing you how to manage the workload. Taking IB classes in high school is not all rainbows and sunshine. It may have you sacrifice more than you would like to. One often wonders if the IB Program is worth it.
To make sure that you do not regret taking IB in hindsight, here are a few things that you should be considerate about.
Before you go into reading this beautifully written article, check out what our friend Katie has to say about the IB Program.
Studies Over Friendships
All of us can only control a few things. Having a good grasp on your subjects is one of those controllable things. However, creating a friend circle while managing a good IB score is not as easy as it may seem. What makes IB worth it is graduating from it with people you care about. While it is true that the pressure of making' life long friends' is insurmountable, you should be mindful of not being glued to your books all the time. Associating with people around you is the only way to discover like-minded people. Even if you are an introvert and like to have a limited social circle, you should balance your studies and spending times with the people who care about you. Trying to become successful while condemning your friends and family is but a recipe of disaster.
It is not unknown that IB requires you to invest long hours. Sometimes you have to spend 20 hours straight learning. On such days, the least you can do is spend your 'break time' being with someone you care about instead of randomly scrolling through social media apps. Do not fall in the rut of ignoring everyone around you by taking yourself too seriously. Sometimes taking a break by spending quality time with the right people is just the therapy you need to stay motivated.
Leaving No Time To Plan A Future
Being an IB student opens many doors for you. But sometimes these doors can be too many to be decisive about your future. Going with the flow is a good habit but planning a little is always beneficial. When I was doing the IB Program, I had no clue about the next step in my life. All I wanted was to finish my IB Program and see how things unfold after that. This, in no small extent, resulted in me wasting almost an entire year. I was taking my possibilities for granted. I was willing to be enrolled in any university and did not care about researching the application processes of my potential universities. Part of the reason that I was unable to do so was that I was overwhelmed with submissions and IB exams!
In the first six months of DP 2, every IB student must make up their mind about the university they want to be enrolled in. There is nothing wrong in taking a gap year after your the IB program. However, that also requires proper due diligence and planning. Whatever it is that you plan to do, if you want to make your IB diploma worth it, you should be able to anticipate what lies ahead for you.
Assessments Over Health
Every IB student that I have ever met on this planet has pulled a lot of all-nighters. I once remember a time when I drank almost 8 cans of red bulls to make it through the night for the sake of finishing assignments. Interestingly, I was only a little dosage of caffeine away from being hospitalised. IB is demanding and often stressful, but it is not worth sabotaging your health. Most of the IB students struggle with having a proper work-life balance and end harming themselves. Trust me, while you do not feel a thing, all those all-nighters are slowly damaging your immune system! Choose to exercise regularly and consistently to avoid being burned out and falling in the trap of laziness. Don't just be physically active for CAS but pursue a fitness regime which makes your blood flow. Being proactive and disciplined go a long way in maintaining good health and making IB worth it.
Crippling Under Pressure
Academic pressure can be useful and at times, act as a boost to help you study better. However, many IB students are so worried about performing better that they end up crippling under the immense pressure they put upon themselves. This can not only ruin your performance in your exams but can also develop anxiety. Practising meditation throughout your IB Program will pay in the long run. It will help you in handling stressful situations. Because there will be times when you will be expected to hand in your reports and take multiple tests on a single day while doing college application and the last thing you want during that time is to cripple under pressure.
Not Matching The Expectations
IB students tend to be competitive. Comparing your presentation points with your classmates and aiming to get higher predicted grades than everyone else is constant. However, this continuous habit of comparing yourself with everyone around you can send you down a very ugly spiral. The only person worth comparing to is your self. Having a mindset of outperforming your past self is the mantra for levelling up at every stage of your IB diploma. Even then, there will be times when you are unable to match your expectations. When such a thing happens, you need to evaluate your performance. Were you unable to match what you expected yourself to do because you slacked off or was it because you are expecting too much? Being optimistic is an outstanding trait. However, you should also be realistic in your approach and do right by your side by creating goals that aid you in your process instead of burning you out.
Whatever the reason that you have opted IB for is not as important as the way you carry out your journey. It is not the grades but the work ethic behind those grades which make IB worth it for you. We can only control a few things in life. But the things you can indeed control should be executed gracefully and in a way which helps you get the best out of your life.
We want Nail IB to be your virtual companion and make IB worth it! We have a lot of helpful blogs which will help you navigate your way through IB. Apart from our blogs, we offer "Take A Test' module, which allows IB students to evaluate their level in the IB Program. Make sure to try a test and see your strengths and weaknesses. And finally, to make sure that you have all the resources that you might need to nail IB, we have curated exclusive student bundles for your convenience.