It is Sunday, the day before my afternoon Bahasa Indonesia exams. I will have three of my physics and two math studies paper for the rest of next week. I am struggling, to say the least. I am mentally and physically exhausted from my Taekwondo exams, but that's a story for another blog post.
I feel like IB is always told from this great perspective; rigorous, challenging, fulfilling, preparing, etcetcetc. I haven't seen much IB horror stories out there because, at the end, how could there be? You get to pick and choose your education so that it caters to your interests and aspirations (all within the 3 Higher Level and Standard Level subjects + Theory of Knowledge + Creativity, Action, Service + Extended Essay). What happens when you don't get all these lovely options? What if you were an art kid and was forced to take science? Or a science kid who's forced to take anthropology and history? Or perhaps a language and literature kid forced to take math?
The current education system has a lot of flaws, and this recent viral video by Prince Ea highlights a huge part of it. Yet, there are still kids, like me, who are fortunate enough to take something as amazing as the International Baccalaureate yet still feel very unfulfilled. My mom is an early years educator (currently working as VP at the school I go to). I've been going to the same school my mom teaches in since 7th grade. Believe me, I am utterly grateful for everything my mother does in order to give her children and other children the greatest gift of all; education. I'm also not trash talking my school, it's a great school. However, they are still very new to the IB and they are struggling (but doing their best) to give us as many options as possible.
Some background information: I will be applying to university in The Netherlands and I aspire to major in Arts, Culture, and Media (with a focus on film and music). Now, the IB DP offers various subjects that catered to my interests such as music, film, theatre, social and cultural anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. However, not every school offers these subjects, especially since they're not STEM subjects. Because of this, I was forced to take subjects that I never intended to take, such as physics SL (I wanted to do ESS), economics HL (it was either this or business HL), and business SL.
I don't intend to make any excuses. Being forced to take things you don't want and really make yourself learn it does shape you in to becoming a human being prepared for the 'real world', where not everything caters to your personal interests. However, you can imagine the mental flurry I am currently in the midst of as I mentally heal from the 3 econ papers (which were incredibly difficult for me, I'd be grateful for a 4 out 7) and attempt to prepare for physics.
There are a lot of things that I'm learning about myself, my capacities, and my weaknesses throughout the last few weeks and it will certainly help me with my personal growth. However, I can honestly say that the IB finals have been a hellish experience, and I would never ever ever do it again. The subjects I mean, not the curriculum.
Perhaps I'll write or make a video about how to practice self-care at such a physically, mentally, and spiritually demanding time. We'll see how it goes. I wouldn't want to jinx it, post numerous things for the interwebz to see, and then fail the IB. Oh God, I seriously hope that doesn't happen.