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Life as an IBDP Student

My life as an IBDP student in BIS has been more challenging than I thought it would be, but in a completely different manner than I had expected it to be.

My experience in Grade 11 has been tough so far. Of course, I expected it to be hard and time-consuming, but I thought of the IB programme as any other school program. Maybe a bit harder than most, but not with many tasks to complete. I learned, however, that you should really forget about not doing anything and still receiving good grades. This program really takes a lot of effort, a lot of time should especially be devoted to the core elements of the IBDP which are CAS, TOK and the EE. I mean you have to actually work on them if you want to get all 3 extra points and not fail IB for not completing CAS experiences. As well as these areas, students need to keep achieving the best grades they can, which was probably the most challenging part for me. I had trouble with one of my subjects and I was really nervous because of it. A lot of extra studying yourself is necessary, unlike IGCSE, so many different things actually depend on you. I realised that I had put too much on my shoulders at the beginning of the year since one of the subjects was too hard for me and required too much time. It was so difficult trying to manage my time that I decided to switch my subjects. So far, I haven’t regretted it and don’t think that I will. That subject requires a lot of effort and extra work, so I told myself that I wouldn’t be able to handle it anymore. Now, my time is more balanced and I have more time to focus on my other subjects, so I can do my best in all of them. This first semester actually made me reconsider a lot of things and I did spend a lot of time stressing.

Another important thing that I would like to mention is that no matter how hard IB is, you need to stay in touch with your friends and family. I had difficulties in the beginning, since I didn’t know how to manage my time and rest when necessary, and instead spent many nights stressing and losing sleep. Every moment spent with my friends helped. Even a small thing like going to get coffee with friends during lunch provided a distraction from studying and made my day a little bit better. I have 2 study periods a week because other free periods were taken by the Local Curriculum, so I mostly spend them just chilling and talking. Sometimes I really needed it and I understood that there is nothing wrong with needing a rest sometimes. Without taking breaks, insanity seems likely with all this studying. I do so many things to calm down, like spending an hour or two watching a series or a movie once a week, taking walks to clear my head and my best distraction: basketball. It helps me keep my mind off school and I enjoy playing it. You really need to manage your time in a way you can keep working effectively and still have time for yourself. You can perfectly manage your time to be able to study and do all the core elements, but it is hard to include some time for rest.

IBDP is tough, no one told me that it would be easy, but you can do well in your academics, if you manage and divide your time properly. My IBDP experience so far has not been easy, but it is a challenge that can push students to grow and learn valuable abilities. I really hope that things that I learn here are going to be helpful in future and I am excited for the next semester to see where I would end up with it.