How were my first few months of the IB program?
Hmm, that’s hard to answer.
On one hand, I’m stressed and ready to slump against a wall and sleep for all eternity. My poor laptop is littered with documents with names ranging from ‘Filipino Individual Oral Presentation Transcript’ to ‘Mahtmeatics Internal Assessment proposal’. (The former one is supposed to say ‘Mathematics’.) My hair is frizzed again, my lack of sleep slowly making itself apparent, (Last night I slept at 11, which I thought isn’t so bad. But then I remember I wake up at four in the morning.) and most of all, I will do anything for coffee. That includes sacrificing much of my allowance for a cup per day in the school cafeteria. My vocabulary is tinted with acronyms of FOA, CAS, EE, TOK. I’m living on fragments of prayer and my highlighted notes.
You may think that I must have chosen the hardest subjects, but I didn’t. On the contrary, my subjects are fairly light compared to that of my peers’. But that doesn’t stop the work from coming. Every Friday, I come home light-hearted, ready to take a nap. Once I open my planner, my heart drops a little bit. More often than not, I give up to sleep for a full night.
My classmates feel the same way. Every Wednesday morning, you can see a bunch of juniors crumpled up next to the lockers, dead asleep. Before classes start, at least one person’s head is down. The bus ride going to and leaving school are more or less filled with sleeping students.
In other words, it’s been difficult and sort of a nightmare.
Then we look at the other argument. I’ve learned a lot, my head exploding with information that spark my interest and make me question what else can possibly happen. I’ve learned to look deep into a reading and to shape an interpretation of my own that would be relevant and insightful to the discussion. I’m learning to balance academics, sports, violin, clubs, and social life. (Although, then again, the last one was never really balanced to begin with. So it’s a work in progress.) Moreover, the good grades are worth the effort, worth the push.
There’s fun mixed with class, too. In Film class, we watch movies that range from very strange to the classically acclaimed. My Psychology class is pushing and delving deeper into discovering questions of our perception of social groups. It’s a mix of different things, and they’re all new. It’s different from anything else I’ve ever learned.
As my first semester as an IB student (and as a Beacon Academy student) draws to a close, I’m swearing to myself that I’ll pull up my grades in time for college applications. It’s a depressing thought, but it’s motivating, too. The stress, I believe, is worth experiencing to get what I want. How can I feel the thrill if I never feel the fear in the first place? It goes the same for college and for further life. It goes the same as writing. To feel a thrill we must feel a fear.
All in all, what we need to strive for in education is to learn. And if that takes stress, and fear, so be it.