Since Autumn last year we’ve been taking a look at different IB experiences from around the world, seen through the eyes of current students studying in countries from Sweden to Singapore. We all know it’s tough to find the balance between the workload and all the other things we might want to do alongside the IB, but we’ve loved hearing about the diverse interests of our featured students. Here we hear from our final guest writer for this year’s series, Rosa Timimi from Geneva!
I’m Rosa Timimi and I go to school in Geneva, Switzerland. I’m in Year 12, and take English Literature, Physics and Visual Arts at Higher Level, and History, Maths and French B at Standard Level. I didn’t yet know what I wanted to do at university when I made the subject choices, so based them on what I enjoy doing the most and what will keep my options open (which is why I’ve ended up with an odd mix).
English A Language and Literature HL
Visual Arts HL
French B SL
I’m taking the IB because that is the only option my school offers. I never really considered changing schools to do another course, so thats how I ended up here with several pages of exercises on the doppler effect to complete, a couple more on angles and radians, not to mention an extended essay to worry about, and a piece of overdue french homework that I really need to make a start on.
As a slightly lazy student, compulsive youtube watcher and skilled procrastinator, its fair to say that I’m struggling a bit with the IB programme. After breezing through my IGCSEs, I thought I could apply the same flippant attitude to the IB, despite all the warnings from friends and teachers. I was just naturally intelligent, and didn’t need to study as much as everyone else, right? Wrong.
I got off to a rocky start, especially with Physics and Maths. The first shock came when I got my first maths test back. I knew I wasn’t going to do amazingly well because I was feeling a bit lost in class, hadn’t bothered to ask anyone for help and then left revision until the morning before the test. Not even the night before. But I was still a bit surprised at how badly I did when I got the test back. The same attitude earned me 44% in a Physics test and a disappointing grade in History (I can’t remember what I got and the test has since been “misplaced”). I soon realised I had to up my game if I wanted to maintain the same level I had in the IGCSEs.
Recently things have been getting better. I’ve been taking better notes in class, doing a bit more work at home, and cutting down on YouTube time (goodbye cats). I’ve also been following Lanterna’s advice and studying on public transport. Well I say studying, I actually just read the books we’ve been assigned for English Lit, but that still counts, right? My revision timetable remains non-existent, and I still miss homework assignments every now and again, but my “work ethic” has been gradually improving and consequently so have my grades. I will get there!
I think my favourite part of the IB is CAS. Forgive me if I sound like a smug quote from a shiny school brochure, but it really has pushed me to do things that I wouldn’t otherwise have dared to do, such as set up a student newsletter, film netball tournaments, or teach circus skills every Saturday morning. I’ve made new friends and met inspiring people, and have learnt to put myself out there (and talk to strangers!). Much as I hate writing reflections, I love getting involved in activities, and am excited to start planning my CAS project. I know many of my friends don’t like CAS, and I think its because they aren’t doing anything that they’re passionate about, or that challenges them in any way. Once you step outside your comfort zone, your achievements and progress seem a lot more meaningful and fulfilling. If you use CAS as an excuse to push yourself do to more of what you love, you will make it work for you.
What have you learnt since starting the IB?
Overall I’ve learned that the IB is a big step up from the IGCSEs, that I can accomplish lots of things if I actually take the initiative (thanks CAS), and that I need to get off Facebook and YouYube and finally tidy my desk so that I can get some work done!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading all these different IB perspectives! If you haven’t already seen the others, you can take a look at all the other features here.