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A Letter To My High School Self

A Letter To My High School Self

Don’t worry too much. As many times as you’ve heard this, you still might continue to worry. I’m here to remind you yet again, not to. I was worried about my academics all the time. Around the clock. Day and night. Despite how much I worried, I got through, I went to college and I have a job. I’m here to tell you, it all works out in the end. You will have to put in the effort but everything happens for a reason and it does happen nevertheless. 

Worrying will not get you a step further. It is as useless as reading a book with a mind full of thoughts or chewing bubble gum when you’re trying to solve an algebraic problem. All the time you spend could be put to better use – being productive and studying effectively. You’re probably only 17 or 18. You have about only 1-2 years before you’re done with your teenage life. Why spend it worrying when you can relax a little and work strategically?

Effective studying means more breaks and more time. Some people tend to study for hours and hours during the day and they stretch it out so much. They take a number of breaks in between, get distracted with their phones possibly, etc. The most you can sit in a stretch and study from a textbook is probably an hour. Start studying with an agenda and what you want to cover for the day. After going through the concepts, practice some questions so it doesn’t seem like you’re just feeding your brain information for you to just forget eventually. 

Here’s a pro tip for effective studying: Start in Year 1. Don’t wait for Year 2. Your shoulders will feel much lighter and you will not be stressed. I cannot stress this point enough. Start. Early.

Get help for your college admission process. You do not have to go through this alone. Talk to someone who is experienced with this and take it easy. There’s only so much you can do before you break so ask for help and share the load. Trust me ‘younger self’, they’d be happy to. The added rigor of applications to the final exams can be quite overwhelming, however, unfortunately, they need to be done around the same timeframe. You can look at college counselors in your school or contact someone outside. We, at TYCHR can help you ease out the process and give you more clarity. 

Sleep on time. While this may not be entirely possible, you should really try to. A lot of people don’t take this seriously but 8 hours of sleep is essential for the body to be active during the day. This is interconnected with being productive. If you’re tired during the day, you will end up extending one day’s agenda to two. Although it never happened to me, I suggest you follow it. The drowsy, unmotivated feeling in the morning is the last thing you need when you head to school. Trust me. It’s not great. Your brain is growing and you need to nurture it. And for that, you need to get 8 hours of sleep. I remember almost passing out completely in my first period. You can’t be at risk for missing out on what your teacher tells you.

Prioritize, plan and do not procrastinate. It is a disease. Don’t fall into the trap. The best way to get through this is finish the assignments you’re assigned within the same day you get it or the day after. You will not have to carry forward and pile it up. Finishing work before the deadline is like getting a freebie at your favorite store. You’ll enjoy it. 

Jump out of your comfort zone. Don’t play it safe. First, it’s not fun. Second, you’re not exposed to reality. Third, you will not be prepared to face reality. And lastly, fourth, you will not learn from your mistakes. Do things that you thought you would never do in 100 years. Don’t be shy. There’s no harm in trying – at least you haven’t missed out on your opportunities. Try out for your debate team, start a youtube channel or 50 other things. You will not regret it. It’s like getting a taste of every flavor of ice cream before you take an entire scoop of it. What is the worst that could happen? You might not get into an ivy league. That’s just a school.

Think about what all these experiences gave you, how it molded you. That is important and that is something that will be with you forever. However, don’t think too much because then, you won’t end up doing it. If you haven’t tried, you don’t know. You will not realize this at the moment but you will understand why later. So, firstly, go with the flow and don’t give up.

Do. Not. Jump. To. Conclusions. 

Honest and Accountability to your own self. This one is the most important one yet. You have to be truthful and honest about the documents you submit, be it your IA’s or EE’s or even if you’re writing your exams. Being unfaithful now is not going to help you in the future in any way so you might as well take accountability if you did do anything. Coming clean is always better than building up lies on top of other lies because it will come back to bite you, I’ll tell you that lol. Learn from your mistakes. Do not plagiarize, cite other people’s work if you’ve taken references, and look into your own paper while writing the exam. It’s like the three mantras you should never forget while doing IB. You’ll do fine. 

Congratulations for all the highs in your life now. You’re receiving an award, you’re scoring well in your tests, you’re making new friends. Yes, it’s all happening. Breathe it all in, it is true. Likewise, we’ll get through the lows together. If you have failed in something you set out to do, embrace it. Learn from it. And grow. Don’t forget that people are there to be by you and help.

Right now, I would just say to focus on the present. Don’t think 5 months ahead or 5 years. Again, it just adds on to the overwhelming feeling and you lose time stressing. It’s added weight that pushes you down and it doesn’t need to be taken into account at the moment. 

Remember, high school is the peak for you. You need to enjoy and make major decisions. It’s true, face it. Once you’re done with Grade 12, there’s no going back. 

I’ll leave you with this. 

Bye, goodnight and all the best.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I still do well in IB even if I didn’t take many honors/AP classes in high school?

A: Yes, while taking rigorous coursework in high school can be helpful preparation for IB, it’s not a requirement for success in the program.

Q2: Should I have taken more foreign language classes in high school if I plan to pursue the IB Diploma?

A: It can be helpful to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before entering the IB program, but it’s not necessary. IB offers Language B courses at varying levels of proficiency, so students can start at a level that is appropriate for their language skills.

Q3: Is it important to have a specific career path in mind before entering IB?

A: No, one of the benefits of IB is that it encourages students to explore a wide range of academic disciplines and develop a well-rounded set of skills. This can help prepare students for a variety of future career paths.

Q4: Should I have participated in more extracurricular activities in high school if I plan to pursue the IB Diploma?

A: Participating in extracurricular activities can be beneficial for personal growth and development, but it’s not a requirement for success in IB. However, IB does value a well-rounded education and encourages students to engage in activities beyond academics.

Q5: How can I prepare for the rigors of the IB program before entering high school?

A: There are several ways to prepare for IB, such as taking advanced coursework in middle school, developing strong study habits and time management skills, and participating in academic enrichment programs or summer camps. Additionally, talking to current IB students or alumni can provide valuable insights and advice.

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