Five tips with an IB candidate on how to survive the program

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Since the time for students to choose their electives for next year is upon us, here are some tips to relieve your worries if you are still on the fence about doing IB.

1. Make IB friends
Personally, I think that one of the reasons why I have been able to manage to do the IB program would have to be because of the friendships I’ve formed with the other IB candidates. When I began at the start of junior year, I hadn’t realized that all 50 candidates would be placed in W4 classes with the same teachers.
Naturally, by being in a W4 classroom full of IB candidates, you eventually get to know and get closer to everyone. Especially when we have homework assignments or when we’re studying for a test, making friends with other students helps significantly. If one person is struggling in a class or doesn’t understand a topic, we’re there to help each other.
Unfortunately, some of my closest friends that I have made through the IB program are not in any of my core or elective classes. Nonetheless, we have managed to only strengthen our relationship with the stress that we go through everyday over our classes.

2. Choose your classes carefully In order to receive the IB diploma, there are certain requirements that you have to fulfill, one of them is earning a total of 24 points from both your IB exams, Extended Essay, and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class. However, it is up to you whether you want to take 3 standard level (SL) and 3 higher level (HL) classes, or 4 HL’s and 2 SL’s. This being said, don’t be pressured by your peers to take a certain class just because all of them are taking it. Especially with my experience with history classes, I decided to take IB Geography over IB TOPICS for my own sake. Similarly, I have friends who take IB Biology HL or IB Physics HL, like myself, but I also know people taking IB Environmental Sciences. Ultimately, listen to yourself and trust that you can make the right decisions.

3. Do your homework the day it is assigned
Quoting the words from the great field hockey/lacrosse coach, Coach Hook, I do believe that this is the best advice. By finishing all the smaller and easier assignments first, a small weight is lifted off your shoulders. Although you may not think that this is true, try it! It is also entertaining to be the only one relaxed while you watch the rest of your classmates suffer. With this advice, you will be able to sleep better and possibly earlier.

4. Stay organized Whether it is by color coding or keeping an agenda, do whatever you can to relax while panicking about all your assignments. If you do not like paper agendas, use an online one (app, powerpoint, website). Personally, I have a system in place where I update a Google Slides with school assignments, college application deadlines, and any other event happening in my life. Being organized will relieve your stress.

5. Follow IB meme accounts
I know that social media is bad, especially wasting your time on something that insignificant to your studies. However, scrolling through accounts mocking the IB is a good stress reliever since knowing that there are more than just your schoolmates stressing about IB will make you feel better. This is an international program, so the jokes about it is also international.