Who better to take advice from than the people we grew up with— cartoons. Sometimes we need a little bit of an unexpected push from the silliest, non-existent people to help us push through during the stressful times, aka IB, to make it easier.
“Your mind is like water. When it is agitated it becomes difficult to see, but when you let it settle; the answer becomes clear.” – Oogway, Kung Fu Panda
When doing the IB, every path you take may seem to arrive at a dead end. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, lose your way and puncture your tires. When stress and anxiety clouds your brain, it gets difficult to think straight. You might’ve spent weeks just trying to come up with an IA topic and you might even still be wondering what to take up. Let the water settle. Once your mind is clear of stress and you’ve relaxed enough, then go to your laptop and brainstorm. I swear to you, it will work.
“Today is a good day to try.” —Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Tomorrow never comes. No matter how hard you convince and justify it to yourself, it really never does. Tomorrow will turn into the weekend, the weekend turns into monday, monday turns into August 1st, and August 5th is when your IA is due. So, today seems like a good day to try. Don’t be afraid to start typing your IA or EE or TOK essay. Because only when you start, the words will start to flow at the tip of your fingers.
“Giving up is for rookies.”— Philoctetes (Hercules)
It’s way too easy to just give up. But the guilt that comes along with it will consume you. The feeling of being inconsistent and inadequate will take over. And then you will regret wasting your time (Sorry for that glimpse into your future). Let’s say you’re writing the TOK essay, and your claims and counterclaims don’t make sense, or perhaps you’ve collected the wrong examples for your arguments. And it’s just getting way too overwhelming and now you’re contemplating switching from the IB Diploma programme to the certificate course. Oh, how easy life would be. But as cliché as it may sound, there is no gain without pain. So in a situation like that, take a break and clear your mind. Then start fresh, make a skeleton plan and then slowly elaborate on your points. You will thank me for this, and most importantly you will thank yourself.
“Everybody makes a wrong turn once in a while.” —Ash Ketchum (Pokemon)
Two wrongs make a right. You’ll get there, I promise. Two failed experiments does not mean that you stop trying. The right one might just be around the corner. For instance, for my Biology IA, I had conducted an experiment for months that involved the scarification of seeds. I got no results. But with my end goal in mind, I kept going. I decided to use a different seed, and it worked. Figure out where the problem is and change it.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ― MAYA ANGELOU
“People talk loud when they want to sound smart, right? ― Squidward (SpongeBob SquarePants)
Right. Absolutely right. It doesn’t matter what you’re saying. Whether it be that 2+2=4 or quantum physics. Say it loudly, clearly and confidently. People will be engaged. My point is, even if you pick the most simplest approach or topic for your IA, it doesn’t matter. Communicate it well and loud. Be assertive, certain and dominant.
“Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.”—Elastigirl (The Incredibles)
When thinking of IA or EE topics in IB, we make the mistake of thinking about what we think the examiner wants you to write about. In the process, you lose your identity, go against your beliefs and forgo interest in what you truly love. You might just be looking at a guitar right now, but not truly seeing it. When you do, you might just realize that there is way more mathematics involved in music than you thought. Translate your passion, your identity into your work.
“Some people are worth melting for” —Olaf (Frozen)
Sadly, this one’s not romantic. In this case, the term ‘people’ refers to your teachers. You might detest, loathe and any other synonym there exists for hate your teacher. But once your 2 years are done, you’ll look back and realize just how much you needed them. Ok maybe this is a little romantic. So, be grateful and learn what you can from them. Work hard to impress them, follow their advice and stick to deadlines. Melt yourself for them.
I hope this helped you get through your day. And if this tempts you to go revisit your childhood, maybe you might find out that this may be exactly what you need. Good luck, you’re gonna do great.