Tips Wellbeing

What do you wish you’d done differently? (from an IB graduate)

I’ve had this conversation with friends a lot, comparing ourselves at school to ourselves at university. One year on, and there’s a lot we wish we had known to do during the IB.

1. Compartmentalise

We wish we had compartmentalised – making dedicated time for work, relaxation, and fun. Otherwise, work expands to fill all the time available, leaving little room to enjoy other activities. We find that the workload at university allows us so much more time for ourselves, in comparison to IB. It’s now hard to imagine having school 6(!) days a week, with lessons until late afternoon, and then working for most evenings doing homework. Recognise that this period of your life is mostly scheduled for you, and so make the most of the time you have to yourself. Schedule in time for activities you enjoy, and fit work in around that.

2. Be positive

We wish we had been more positive. It’s easy to become sucked into expressing stress and negativity as a go-to conversation topic. This happens on a small-scale in default small talk, and on a wider scale in how the IB is talked about in online communities. The IB is hard, of course. But, it’s also almost always manageable. Think about the conversations you’re having on a daily basis, and assess whether they are constructive and positive. If not, try to express a more optimistic but honest outlook.

3. Have perspective

We wish we had put the IB in perspective. Working long hours everyday makes it hard to see the world outside of school and IB. This is especially true when working towards a goal: the grade at the end of 2 years. It’s cliché but very true that there’s so much more to life than a grade number. It’s hard to escape this mindset when your life has been structured by academic achievement for over a decade, but I wish I had done so earlier. I promise that the relevance of the number at the end fades as soon as you get it!

Much love! It’ll be fine 🙂


    1. Studying in a classroom environment, along with other students, is always more effective! Instead of starting to learn the content beforehand, you should try to work on identifying your personal work ethic. Do you learn better through time tables? Do you prefer coloured notes? With what organisation system do you get optimal work efficiency? Figuring out your own working-method will help you sail through handling the IB workload, and maybe even make it easier for you to handle the content for 6 different subjects at the same time.
      ~Aaryaa, IBlieve Tutor, Mentor, & Editor

    2. I personally feel you should at least get ready for what IB can throw at you (and believe me, it can throw a LOT). Studying on the other hand is more optional but it does help out imo

    3. Thing is, there’s not much a pre-IB student can actually do to prepare for the IBDP. The best course of action is to start studying once you IBDP begins and follow the path set by your school. If you really want to do something, become familiar with the IBDP structure, but don’t stress too much about it — everything will come in due time. Best of luck!
      ~Bianca R., IBlieve Editor

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