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The perfect post-exam holiday

We invited IB Diploma Programme (DP) graduates to reflect on their lives and studies. Learn more about the IB Alumni Network at ibo.org/alumni.

by Nicole Wambui

You’ve finished your exams. You’ve already gotten your university acceptance letter and soon you’ll have your IB diploma results. Now you have four months of holiday (or seven- for those of you who, like myself- decided to go to university in January) and have no idea what to do! Sure, you could catch up on all the series and movies you missed out on, but that gets boring after a while. How do you enjoy your long holiday while still making sure that what you’re dedicating your time to is not only fun, but enriching?

Bucket List

Make a list of all the things you wanted to do while you were studying for your IB Diploma but couldn’t due to lack of time. Go wild with your list. It could be something as simple as visiting your grandparents to composing an entire concerto, it’s all up to you!

Fun Logistics

Let’s say you put “travelling” on your bucket list. Try to get more specific. Where would you like to go? Who would you like to go with? What do you want to do when you get there? Who will be financing your trip? If it so happens that you don’t have enough money to buy a plane ticket to the Amazon and experience first-hand what a shamanistic ritual feels like, change your plan to suit your current situation. You can always plan a local trip to an area in your country that you haven’t been to. You will be surprised to know just how many hidden gems there are around you! Try and do this for every item in your list and think of fun ways you can improvise should something on your list prove difficult to achieve.

Nicole Wambui received her IB diploma from the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa.

Have a Planner

You don’t have to have a detailed timetable that tells you what to do at every given time like you did in school. This is one of the few holidays you’ll ever have with little to no responsibility so enjoy it to the fullest! Just try and set specific timelines for when you would have liked to cross off an item from your bucket list. This way, you have something fun to look forward to every week of your super long holiday!

Reach Out

If you haven’t already, make sure you have a conversation with older friends or relatives who are currently in- or recently graduated from university about implicit essentials to have when you go to university. Personally, I wish someone had told me to carry my own extension cord because sometimes electric sockets can be placed in quite peculiar places. This will just help you have a sense of what you should pack before heading off to university and save you from some headache.

Spend time with your loved ones

Spend as much time with your annoying little brother or awkward but funny cousin. You might find that you spent the entire holiday with your friends or by yourself and completely forgot to spend some quality time with your own family. Try and attend all family get-togethers (or even volunteer to plan one!) That way, even if you do end up getting homesick, you won’t feel guilty for not having spent time with your family.

As you go into this holiday, remember to give yourself the much-needed break and a giant pat on your back for having completed your diploma.


Nicole Wambui received her IB diploma from the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at the African Leadership College in Mauritius and is a trained classical violinist and pianist.

Have a great story to tell? Write to alumni.relations@ibo.org and learn more about the IB Alumni Network at ibo.org/alumni.