One of the hardest parts of, “adulting”, is finding the time to balance multiple responsibilities, such as my social life, work and school. Completing the IB diploma as an 18-year-old has taught me valuable life lessons relating to time management, procrastination and managing a heavy workload. Now, I’m a 20-year-old full-time Bachelor of Arts student in my last year at the University of Melbourne. I am juggling an active social life and a part-time internship at my university’s student union. Finding a good balance has been challenging, but when I think back to how I managed my time while doing the DP, I find it easier to deal with.
“The IB has prepared me to manage my time well, so that I can complete all my responsibilities and still have time to relax.”
Studying theory of knowledge (TOK) on top of my six compulsory subjects, completing creativity, activity, service (CAS) and my extended essay (EE), all within two years, has made me marvel at how much I managed to get done within such a short time frame when I look back. At the same time, I maintained an active social life, participated in school events (such as dancing during events) and actively participated on sports carnival days. On top of that, I hung out with my friends on a weekly basis outside of school. I spent the rest of my time at home studying for my IB subjects or heading to the national library to do past papers in a different environment. My time management skills from doing the IB in year 12 continue to assist me in university now, as I’m currently juggling a full-time degree, a part-time internship, several editing positions at university publications and maintaining an active social life. The IB has prepared me to manage my time well, so that I can complete all my responsibilities and still have time to relax.
Being so busy in my last year of high school has also helped me to not procrastinate, another skill that I have now in university. In high school, I watched many of my classmates complete their homework and assignments at the last minute because they had spent the previous night procrastinating instead. I didn’t want to rush assignments like they did because I knew it would be more stressful for me, so I tried not to procrastinate when I was studying for the IB. I managed to keep this habit even in university now. When I do university assignments, I try to complete them as fast as possible and hand them in days before the due date. I have carried on my consistent work ethic from doing the IB to university, which has made it easier for me to complete assignments.
“Because of the skills I learned when doing the IB, I entered university as an expert in writing academic essays, finding academic sources and doing citations.”
In terms of academics, the IB prepared me for life as a liberal arts student. Because of the skills I learned when doing the IB, I entered university as an expert in writing academic essays, finding academic sources and doing citations. These are skills that are actually taught in the first year of an arts degree at my university. There is a special workshop to hone these skills in every arts student’s first semester. Luckily, because of my experience with essays, sources and citations from growing up in an IB school, I was able to ace the technicalities behind my university assignments. I had no trouble using various citation styles and finding academic sources for my assignments. Even some of the assignment criteria, especially from my history subjects, was similar to what I had done in IB higher level (HL) history, which added another layer of familiarity to my university experience. The academic skills I learned from doing the IB proved to be extremely valuable when I came to university.
The time management skills and good habits I picked up as an IB student have made my university life and, “adulting”, much easier. I never thought that I would be able to balance an internship and active social life on top of being a full-time university student, but with these skills, I’m able to thrive as a working student.
Hailing from New York, Tokyo and Singapore (it’s complicated), Lindsay Wong is a history and Asian studies double major at the University of Melbourne who has a passion for words and keen interest in journalism.
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