So, will doing the IB Diploma completely squash any semblance of a social life? The answer is no. You need a social life to be a happy and healthy human. To see how you can make that possible, let’s look at this question from three angles: Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS), Highschool Hooliganry, and After-school and Summer work.
Incorporate CAS into your social life
If you spend as much time on IB meme pages as I do, you may have heard that ANYTHING will pass as CAS. There’s truth in that sentiment. If you want to have a social life, your best bet is to count social activities as CAS. For me, this meant joining sports teams, heading the debate team, and volunteering to help with my territory’s Tedx Event. As a mega-nerd, these are all activities I would have done anyway, but I also got credit for them and got to spend time with my friends in the process. As long as I could extract a lesson (or six) from the experience, it went towards my diploma.
High School Hooliganry
I would define this “hooliganry” as the activities that many high schoolers do in movies. This includes partying, going to concerts, having sleepovers and dating. Unfortunately, you may not have as much time for these. During my whole Diploma experience, I went to one party (on my birthday), two concerts, had about six sleepovers, and didn’t spend time dating. If these are the types of activities that make you feel enriched, however, you can still engage in them. You just have to make sure to block off time for them and be up to date with your assignments. For my concerts, for example, instead of my usual five hours a day studying, I studied ten hours the day before my concert so I wouldn’t have to worry about it on the big day.
After-School and Summer Work
These are the most difficult ones to coordinate, but still are doable. I think about my socialising like gas, because I need it to run. First, think about how much gas your social tank needs. If you’re an extrovert, like me, and it’s a lot, dedicate time for it just like you would for studying. Second, decide which activities fill your social tank the best. This could be Netflix parties with your besties, dance classes, or anything that makes you feel sufficiently social. Lastly, plan times every month, whether it’s after school, on weekends, or during the summer, to make those social plans a reality. For me, this was very effective. I got to see my friends, and I didn’t have to feel guilty about it. Also, don’t sleep on the social gains you might receive from a simple FaceTime with a friend.
In closing, IB does not have to be some nightmarish experience where you don’t leave your house because you’re studying all the time. You might end up crying during your two years, but it doesn’t have to be because your social needs aren’t met. With sufficient planning, and a little bit of gaming the system, you can successfully fill your social tank.