Welcome to the first IB student perspective! Whatever the myths and stereotypes that surround the IB Diploma Program, the truth is that it’s what you make of it. Every student manages it in different ways, and every student has a different experience depending on their school, country, and subjects. In this series of blog posts, which will run throughout the year, we’re going to take a look at the experiences of different IB students around the world. In this first blog in the series, we hear about just one of these experiences. So, Clara Bostrom from Sweden, take it away!
My name is Clara Bostrom, 18 years old, and I am currently in DP2 in Lund, in the south of Sweden.
Swedish A Lit SL
Business Management HL
English B HL
The reason why I chose the IB is actually very ironic, since it happened very randomly. I did not want to study any of the national programs offered at my school, and I have always had a dream of studying abroad. I started the IB with no expectations whatsoever, but today I could not be more satisfied with my choice.
A typical week for me consists of mostly going to school and studying, but I do try to spare a few hours where I can go to the gym or take spinning classes. I really enjoy taking a break from studying so I can get rid of some energy and think about something else. It helps me to be more productive and efficient when I study. If I am not studying or exercising I enjoy taking powerwalks with my friends, to catch up on what is happening in our lives. I also spend a lot of time on my blog (dearibstudents.tumblr.com), which I’ve made with one of my friends in my class. We update on study techniques, tips for better grades and information about the subjects. I do spend a lot of time on it, along with updating our Instagram account (@dearibstudents), but I find it very rewarding when people from all around the world send us questions and fan-mails. I could never have imagined that the blog would grow as much as it has.
Being an IB student is difficult. Despite this, I somehow manage to meet friends, go to the gym and spend time with my family. I have asked myself the question of how it is possible and it all comes down to three things: planning, organizing and listening to myself. Planning helps me to get an overview of what I am supposed to do, when I will have time to go to the gym etc. Organizing helps me with planning, in the form of organizing my school material to be able to determine how much time I will have to spend on each task. A good combination of planning and organizing has helped me a lot, because the toughest thing about the IB is finding the time required for the program.
When it comes to listening to myself, I have during my IB-years figured out that sitting for hours not being productive leads to nowhere. If you feel like you have a lot of energy – go for a run! There is no point in spending hours of doing nothing – it will only lead to frustration. In this case, it is better to go do something else before you sit down and try to be productive for at least a little while. I am not able to spend a whole day studying, I find it very difficult to be productive and keep the motivation. However, I do find it very efficient to study for two or three hours, go for a run, study again, listen to some music and then continue studying. It is important to reward yourself with fun activities to keep staying motivated, otherwise you will get bored and tired.
The IB is not only about studying and being tired all the time, although that is the picture many students receive. There are so many parts about the IB that I would have never been able to experience if I had not chosen the program. My favorite part about the IB is the combination of everything. I like having a lot of things to do, being productive, and being organized. It helps me develop in ways that will surely benefit me in the future.
What have you learned since starting the IB?
I have learnt, during the IB, that challenging yourself is essential to grow and develop as a person. Whether the outcome is failure or success does matter to some extent, but you will learn from both. Sometimes failure can develop you more than success can.
Is your experience different? Similar? If you’d like to write your own IB Perspective here on this blog, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!