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I'm in 11th grade in the United States, and I've just started the IB Diploma Program. It started out well enough, but now I feel as if I'm drowning in school work. I know that my teachers are disappointed in me, but I just am completely choking, and I don't know how to get myself out of this hole into which I've dug myself. Between IAs and my daily homework, as well as swimming on my school's team, and taking piano lessons, I feel like I cannot complete anything. And for my art class I'm supposed to be doing extra work outside of class... I don't know how to get myself back to an acceptable place with the workload that I have on a daily basis. I'm considering dropping, even though I truly enjoy my classes, and I really don't want to drop. I really just don't know what to do. Please help. Any advice is welcome.

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I really don't think dropping is the right decision here. Absolutely anyone can be succesful after completing the IB diploma. The nature of the course is such that a wide variety of people, with a variety of skills, intellect and backgrounds are accomodated. However this ''success'' is dependent on the individual, and how he or she defines it. Most definetly , all IB students have to work hard, we alll know its a difficult course. 

 

However some IB candidates are more succesful than others because of a few other variables.

 

Their goals are clearly defined, and realistic.

- As much as you want to partake in a variety of extracurricalar activites (you need to do action, creativity and sevice anyway). It is likely that you are partaking in unnecesarry activities, that will not bring anything more to your life. In addition, if possible consider a change in subjects or levels (HL or SL), that make your life easier without taking away from your goals. Which brings me to my second point...

 

Stay organized at all costs

- Have a calender that shows all the work you need to work on for the entire week. Have a plan on how you are going to do all the work, and be realistic about. which brings me to my third point ....

 

You NEED sleep....you NEED a break

- Without sleep, hygiene and a bit of break here and there, your productivity with suffer immensly. Extracurricular activities are meant to reduce the stress of IB, if they are not, you need to either augment your goals or become even more organized.

Edited by Hayden66
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I really don't think dropping is the right decision here. Absolutely anyone can be succesful after completing the IB diploma. The nature of the course is such that a wide variety of people, with a variety of skills, intellect and backgrounds are accomodated. However this ''success'' is dependent on the individual itself, and how he or she defines it. Most definetly , all IB students have to work hard, we alll know its a difficult course. 

 

However some IB candidates are more succesful than others because of a few other variables.

 

Their goals are clearly defined, and realistic.

- As much as you want to partake in a variety of extracurricalar activites (you need to do action, creativity and sevice anyway). It is likely that you are partaking in unnecesarry activities, that will not bring anything more to your life. In addition, if possible consider a change in subjects or levels (HL or SL), that make you life easier without taking away from your goals. Which brings me to my second point...

 

Stay organized at all costs

- Have a calender that shows all the work you need to work on for the entire. Have a plan on how you are going to do all the work, and be realistic about. which brings me to my third point ....

 

You NEED sleep....you NEED a break

- Without sleep, hygiene and a bit of break here and there, your productivity with suffer immensly. Extracurricular activities are meant to reduce the stress of IB, if they are not, you need to either augment your goals or become even more organized.

along with this, avoid procrastination and you will be fine. and I run for my school team, so what i learnt is just train then get home, shower, eat rest a bit. then start work, and when you do give it your 100%, and it will be fine

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I'm in 11th grade in the United States, and I've just started the IB Diploma Program. It started out well enough, but now I feel as if I'm drowning in school work. I know that my teachers are disappointed in me, but I just am completely choking, and I don't know how to get myself out of this hole into which I've dug myself. Between IAs and my daily homework, as well as swimming on my school's team, and taking piano lessons, I feel like I cannot complete anything. And for my art class I'm supposed to be doing extra work outside of class... I don't know how to get myself back to an acceptable place with the workload that I have on a daily basis. I'm considering dropping, even though I truly enjoy my classes, and I really don't want to drop. I really just don't know what to do. Please help. Any advice is welcome.

 

Personally, I think you might have demanded too much of yourself because it seems to me that you really want to achieve everything at the same time. I don't mean to lower down your confidence, but I want you to realize that it's not very good to try to achieve everything at the same time, because then it would be very likely that you won't achieve anything at all. Instead, take it easy and try to focus on only one thing at a time. Focus on one goal, achieve it, and then move on with another goal. With the IA for example, you should focus on one IA, finish it, before going to the next. Doing this will give you some sort of motivation to work on your next goal.

 

I also think that it's good to have some sort of schedule or time-management plan. However, it's a better idea to keep it realistic and short. In other words, you should only plan 1 to 2 days ahead, and no more than that. This is because if you try to plan for a week, or even a month in advance, you would end up wasting much of your valuable time into the planning itself, since it's very unlikely that you'll follow your week- or month-plan. So 1-day or 2-day plan is quite enough, in my opinion.

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I'm in 11th grade in the United States, and I've just started the IB Diploma Program. It started out well enough, but now I feel as if I'm drowning in school work. I know that my teachers are disappointed in me, but I just am completely choking, and I don't know how to get myself out of this hole into which I've dug myself. Between IAs and my daily homework, as well as swimming on my school's team, and taking piano lessons, I feel like I cannot complete anything. And for my art class I'm supposed to be doing extra work outside of class... I don't know how to get myself back to an acceptable place with the workload that I have on a daily basis. I'm considering dropping, even though I truly enjoy my classes, and I really don't want to drop. I really just don't know what to do. Please help. Any advice is welcome.

 

Hi! 

 

I see you're about a quarter of the way through the IB. Typically that's when the "oh **** what have I gotten myself into" starts. 

 

Hence, you can rest easy knowing that thousands of students have been exactly where you are. Of these students, many have gone on to get 40+ points, do very well outside academia, get into great universities, etc. You are not in a worse position than any one of them, so relax. 

 

I suspect that one of the aims of the IB is to push the student just beyond what they can ordinarily handle - they just disguise it under the pseudonym "rigorous". 

 

Couple of tips I can give here from my experience in the IB. I led a fairly active social life (fri nights and part of saturday were usually blocked off for getting myself out of the house :D ), was house captain, directed two musicals and two plays in my two years in the IB, etc, while also doing quite well in the IB and getting into the uni of my choice. So I hope my tips will be helpful here!

 

1) Plan so that activities don't bleed into each other. If you've got swimming practice from 6 - 8pm, don't linger around after 8. It's easy to have dinner with friends after practice, and by the time you're home its 10 and you can't even think of doing your work. It's a very easy trap to fall into, but you need to be aware of it if you want to do the whole "well rounded student" thing 

 

2) Prioritise. Work on getting every subject to a decent level first before aiming for the stars. There's no point simply working on subjects you're already pretty good at, because straight 6s are not as bad as a 7 or two and a few 2s. 

 

3) Make the call - where do your extracurriculars stand in relation to your school work? Sort them and write it down. You don't have to do anything about it yet, but this will be a reminder that if you simply don't have enough time, the lowest thing on that list is going to have to go. 

 

4) Listen in class, do the homework and revisit every few weeks. You'll be amazed at how much those three things can help you. 

 

5) You might be significantly behind in some classes. That's alright. Take the christmas holidays to fix this. Get your textbook, and simply practise. Can't do math? Start from chapter one of your textbook and work through all the questions. Pretty bad at writing english commentary? Nothing better than simply looking for model commentaries (preferably from your teacher), distilling what's so good about them and practise incorporating that into your work. You get the idea: you have to work

 

6) If need be, go through a "transformational" period. This is if you're really in trouble. What you can do is to stop everything that is non-IB related, and spend all your time getting yourself on track, for perhaps a month or two. Resume your activities once you're on par, but make sure you're still keeping up after resuming them! 

 

7) Plan your off time. You need breaks, and a lot of it. No point not having fun in your teenage years, right? However, plan them somewhat before hand, and its best if you have a routine. I took fri nights and most of saturday or sunday off, just to do my own things. Sometimes I'd go out for drinks on wednesday night but generally its limited to the weekend. By planning your breaks, you know exactly how much time you can and will be taking off - so you don't inadvertently end up wasting a ton of time by arbitrarily taking breaks. 

 

8) Use your teachers. Ask them for help. Their job isn't to read out loud from a textbook to a class full of bored students - rather, they are there to help you learn and perform to the best of your ability. So approach them and see how you can get back on track academically. 

 

I suppose that's all I have for now... though it's highly likely I'll end up getting a few more while having lunch or something :D

 

Oh yes, 

 

9) Get at least six hours of sleep. Possibly the most non-negotiable thing on this list. If you're a night owl, sleep in the evenings. Its up to you. Just make sure you get at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep. It's vital that your body is allowed to recover from the stresses of the previous day. If you've had a particularly stressful day, allow yourself some more time for sleeping. Get one of those aroma candles if you want (I love them!). 

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