Finding the right balance of school and social is a challenge that IB students frequently face. Straight from an IB grad, here are some tips to help you out!
1. Have a “Lazy Day“
I had a “Lazy Day of the Week”, which was my way of disconnecting from school. That day, or half-day if it was a weekday, I would do absolutely no schoolwork unless it was urgent. That day, I might do a CAS activity, read, take a walk, meet up with friends, or do anything else I enjoyed. I would change the Lazy Day every week or so depending on my needs, but it was usually a Friday or a Saturday (sometimes both). The Lazy Day made sure I socialized with people, so I wouldn’t be holed up with schoolwork all the time.
I balance schoolwork by doing everything from most important/imminent to the least important/imminent. I procrastinated a lot, so I would make sure to set a time I would spend on each activity and spend no more than the allotted time. For example, 30 minutes for an outline for my History IA or 20 minutes putting together a full reflection for a CAS activity. I would only spend more than an hour on something if I had the momentum to continue. Keeping activities under 50 minutes was how I could get my procrastinator brain to actually do the work. For more information on how to avoid procrastinating, check out our article on it!
3. Set Goals
I would set a goal of 3 things to do each weekday and 4-5 things each weekend day. That way I was never overwhelmed, and I only had to accomplish those 3 goals, which I had previously broken down from a larger goal (say, the EE or an IA).
4. Take Good Notes
Also, taking good, concise notes and paying attention in class cut down my study time by more than half. To prepare for my anticipated Biology SL exam, I simply binge-watched Amoeba Sisters videos for two weeks because I remembered all the details from my class lectures and only needed a refresher of the bigger picture.
5. Stay Flexible
Everyone is different, so it’s trial and error until you find the right balance for you. It took nearly a year for me to find mine, so don’t be afraid to mess it up.