By Audrey W. Grade 11
What would I have felt on March 13, the day we all left school for Spring Break, knowing that I might not return until the start of grade 12?
As bad as it sounds, I was relieved. I was happy to hear I would no longer have to wake up early or wear a uniform each day, and that I would be, instead, learning in the comfort of my own home. But I was wrong to feel relieved. As a Grade 11 student in the Diploma Programme (DP), I should be at the top of my game, doing the best that I can to study for my exams and to prepare my university applications. Instead, I was glad that I had the chance to stay home and slack off.
For some students, it was a relief to relax at home, while others found it more stressful. For me, it took time to get used to the new, at-home lifestyle which was difficult even before online classes started. Now, I'm trying to balance my weekly schedule with the constant flow of assignments coming my way. I have my work cut out for me to say the least!
Now that we are one month into online learning, I think everyone has developed a schedule they can follow and learned to submit homework on time since teachers are always keeping track. I, for one, learned to slightly fix my sleep schedule from going to bed at 4a.m. (the result of binging Netflix and playing Animal Crossing) to 1a.m. on weekdays. I also learned to not get tricked by the comfort of my house as an excused to slack off and go to bed in the middle of the day. All jokes aside, this past month has been productive and a bit stressful. Since I did let myself procrastinate a bit too long in the first two weeks, I soon realized my mistake and managed to get back on track. I was also inspired by some of my friends who were working just as hard for the new term.
I think teachers are doing better than anyone; they helped us get started with online learning and are still going strong, sending us weekly videos lessons and teaching online classes. That is what makes school in these difficult times so much easier
Everyone has different experiences with this new way of learning. In my case, there were some technical and communication difficulties – my computer did stop working several times which caused me to go into full panic mode – but this, along with other trivial problems, was quickly solved. In my opinion, I think teachers are doing better than anyone; they helped us get started with online learning and are still going strong, sending us weekly videos lessons and teaching online classes. That is what makes school in these difficult times so much easier: our teachers' persistence in making sure we are still learning just as much and that we can still seek assistance at any time. As a DP student, the pandemic has obviously been a big disruption towards getting the best academic result, and many would wonder if being in the DP is even manageable online… I would say yes, it is.
Entering Grade 11 in an IB school is more or less one of the most stressful things I've gone through. Assignment after assignment, test after test, and the pressure of getting into a university… easy to say, as a Grade 11 student, grades matter the most. At least that is how I feel. So, inspired to come out of quarantine strong, I developed my own schedule and routine that are easy for me to stick to and found the perfect study spot in my house (with study music always playing) so I wouldn't feel too discouraged or out of energy from studying. I guess the quarantine is giving me a chance to use my own time to grow academically but also mentally, challenging myself to do more work and use more of my time on math instead of Netflix. The Diploma Programme work is straightforward in most ways. Just make sure to follow assignments and put in extra effort and the DP program is completely manageable… even online!