Advice I would give to my past IB self

Here are my top pieces of advice I would give to myself if I had to do the IB again, and perhaps a few things that I wish someone had told me earlier. We all have our regrets over things we would have liked to do differently, and to help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, I’d like to share a list of what I wish I had learnt earlier:

  • Embrace your challenges – own up to them, be responsible for them. Work to improve your weaknesses in accordance with your goals for that particular subject.
  • Learn to love what you do – even if you have to pretend for a while.
  • It will get hard at times – persevere and remember that things will get done by those deadlines no matter how dire the situation seems.
  • Try and manage your time well, you’ll get a lot more sleep, be a lot less stressed and feel a lot better about yourself.
  • There is always light at the end of the tunnel – persevere wit those subjects that you are bad at. Even if it takes you a year to obtain the mark you want and achieve the improvement you seek, you have time.
  • You can achieve your goals – be determined and persistent and let those around you inspire you. Find inspiration in whatever fuels your ambition or motivation. Be ambitious, its a good thing.
  • Seek help from those around you – the people in your cohort are some of your most valuable resources. They can help you, support you, and they are there for you for the 2 years. Your teachers are also extremely valuable, treasure them.
  • Help each other – IB need to stick together. It is not a competition,  and rather, you will all fare better if you band together. The IB is tough at times!
  • Keep your extra-curriculars and keep doing the things you enjoy (make time for them!)- it will keep you from being entirely stressed out.
  • Remember you chose the IB for a reason. Minimise complaining and try to be grateful for what you are getting: a world class education. If you really try to engage with your material, you will find it is actually quite interesting!
  • Lastly, and most importantly. Don’t be afraid to fail. It is the only way to build resilience. Failure shouldn’t stop you, it should fuel you. Without failure there cannot be progress. You are allowed to feel a little down each time you fall below your expectations in an exam or test, but don’t let it get in the way of your future efforts in that subject! Each time you bounce back, that’s a success in itself. It takes courage to realise, but failures and weaknesses are actually more important than your successes!
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