Reflection on Grade 11: Working Towards Becoming a more Independent Person

Challenges:

  • Going into HL Maths
  • Going into HL Physics
  • Getting used to the IB curriculum coming from IGCSE
  • Getting used to the independence and the responsibility we are given

New Experiences:

  • Making some new friends and getting closer with some old ones
  • A big workload.
  • The whole process of the Extended Essay: planning, talking to my supervisor, research, and writing.

Tackled Challenge/Experience:

If I am being honest, I did not expect IB to be as ruthless as it is. Being someone coming out of middle school and IGCSE, those were the times I was able to get by with average grades with minimum effort. Nothing was really draining and I personally thought it was easy. The transition from IGCSE to IB was a lot faster than I thought and hit me like a truck. It was not what I was expecting because we are seen as the “big kids”, we are seen as those who are independent and can handle things on our own as a lesson of growing up. I was not used to it at all. I came into IB really immature and always having a shoulder to lean on when things went wrong, which made me really soft and always super dependant on someone else. I never solved things by myself which was toxic and made me even more dependant on others. It wasn’t healthy. After some things happened with the people around me, I realised what I was doing wrong, what I needed to do, and focused all my efforts on becoming a better person. I would say I am more independent now, I focus on myself a lot more and make sure that I was doing the best I can. Although this epiphany happened late in the year, it still helped me grow as a more happier and independent person. With this lesson, I was able to get my life together and focus on more important things such as my academics, my future, and the people I truly care about. Putting my efforts into studying and getting by with the maximum effort I am willing to put in.

What Could I Have Done Differently/What were some things which were out of my Control:

After barely putting any effort into my academics throughout my early school years, I never really built up the work ethic. I was always able to get by because I used to think I was fairly smart when it came to math and physics. Everything which I knew at that point made logical sense to me which is why I was able to get by without putting in any work. Coming into IB, I struggled with my two most gruesome HLs: Maths and Physics, which require a lot of studying and practice to understand. With myself being immature and always relying on others, I never progressed which made me fall behind. Things fell apart and before I knew it, I was failing consistently which made me lose motivation. It was hard, catching up in two academically tough subjects drained me which made me fall deeper into the rabbit hole.

In the second half of the school year, Covid-19 was announced as a global pandemic which affected everyone. Our school is closed and everyone is stuck at home. As much as I would like to say I love staying home, I really don’t. I would say I am more of an active person that likes to go outside whether it is to go for a walk, to go skate, or hang out with some friends. Covid-19 resulted in my family and me to stay at home with the concern that my family might catch the virus. Everything was scary but there was nothing we can do about it. I value the people around me and not being able to see them was hard. It feels like I was going insane being isolated to my own home with my family. Although we are still allowed to go outside, things were just not the same. It did not feel right although I was still going out. I did not get that sense of calmness, peace, or that feeling of zoning out whilst skating when I was outdoors. That feeling of not being able to release or put my mind at ease during this stressful time of grade 11 was really draining. There were many moments where I did not care which resulted in a lack of effort in many different parts of my life. However now, although nothing much has really changed, I have accepted it and if anything, things have gotten better. I feel like there were probably different ways for me to get through these hard times and I wish I did. I have been taking care of myself for the past few months as much as I can with only making a little progress. If it works, I guess it works. It just takes a little time. Eventually, things will go back to the way they were and I can be assured that I do not have to be stuck in my room all day.

Which PSE lesson has been helpful?

A really helpful unit in PSE this year was I think the self-talk unit. I am generally viewed as a pessimist so I never really would see the brighter side of things. The self-talk lesson taught me to slap the bad thoughts and try to see things from a different perspective.

Expected Challenges and New Experiences in Grade 12 (Ranked):

  1. Studying for the IB exam
  2. Handing in the assignments by the deadline with all the different tasks we have going on
  3. Not failing my tests and getting a low score in IB.
  4. Not falling apart and letting the workload get to me.
  5. Keeping my friendships because I do value people.

Ways to Approach these Challenges to not get Overwhelmed:

  • I tend to procrastinate a lot when it came to actually doing tasks. I need to get that work in and then have free time, not the other way around.
  • Sleep!!! I am always tired. I sleep a lot during the day and not enough at night. I need to get enough sleep
  • I know I have my parents to help me, its just a matter of asking. However, I believe I need to get through this alone.
  • The accepting mindset of “it is what it is” (Some things are just out of my control)
  • Knowing that teachers are here to help.
  • Putting in hard work will reward me later on

How can the PSE course Support me through these Challenges:

  • The study skills lesson: Making sure I have a healthy balance between work and personal life
  • Self-Talk: Knowing I can do it or accepting that things are just the way they are

My Grade 12 Plan:

First of all, I will put myself as my #1 priority. Taking care of myself both mentally and physically is my goal which will ultimately help me with my academics. I know things will get rough in grade 12 as it is my final year of high school after being in UWC since kindergarten but, if I take care of myself, I know I can get by. Something that my mother and I seem to have in common is setting up detailed plans although I never stick to them for long. I want to make a schedule and a plan which will help me throughout the year even if I do not 100% stick to it. If I get a little done at a time, eventually it will build as progress is still progress. I will make a plan with my mother and stick to it.

Slowly but surely, I will be able to graduate hopefully with my diploma thinking back to how far I have come.

“I Be” Unit Final Post

Identity

When it comes to perceiving people we are only able to tell so much about someone through looking at them. Myself as an example am filipino, have glasses, skinny and relatively tall. You would be able to tell my age and my appearance at most. But if you would really get to know me I would say it would not be what you were expecting. As they say, it’s whats on the inside that counts. For example I am very anxious and shy 90% of the time, but when I am with someone I am comfortable with, I cannot keep my mouth shut. I also genuinely care about the people who mean the most to me and I would literally do anything for them. Though it does not seem like it because I can be pretty distant in general, I guess that is just the way I am.

Ideal Personality

When it comes to working in groups I like to pay attention to details. I always like to know the who, what, when, where and whys of our task. I mainly like to know all the details so I know the purpose of the task cause if I don’t know the purpose, I am usually not motivated. At the same time I do always always take into consideration other people’s opinions and feelings as I always want to include everyone so no one feels excluded. When working in groups I do not usually take the leadership role especially when I am not completely comfortable with the people in my group so I have decided to make a small change and make sure I try to be a bit more talkative to make sure I actually help. Basically due to realising what I am like in groups, it makes me think about my contribution and what I need to do.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

In the previous post I mainly talk about learning how to say no and getting enough sleep. I personally never get enough sleep even on breaks or weekends. This causes me to be tired all the time which leaves me cranky and therefore never really in the mood to have a conversation. Throughout the past few weeks I have tried to stop using social media as that is what mainly keeps me up at night and since then, I have increased the amount of sleep and the quality of sleep by a lot. With having anxiety, it is hard to interact with people most of the time but I am slowly working my way up to where I want to be where I am comfortable with people.

Self Talk

I personally do a lot of negative self talk and am known as a generally pessimistic person. I have tried many ways to improve that but I am still working on it. At the moment my main strategy to stop myself from thinking negatively about myself is by just slapping myself to snap out of it and it somehow works or by going for a walk (or alone time) to clear my mind. I have realised that my mood has been better due to the implementation of positive self talk but at the same time that is due to my weight training which trains my mindset of being able to do something difficult for me. I guess I could use this during assignments or tests to make me think that I can really do it.

Stress

First of all I do not deal with stress well at all. When I am stressed I start to panic a lot, hyperventilate, get a little light headed, stuttering and also start to think very bad thoughts about myself. All of those things are really bad which always affects how my day goes on from there. Although I do think some stress is beneficial because it makes us do things we don’t want to do such as an assignment which is due the next day or so on. I just think maybe too much stress is not good. Maybe just the stress of school work is not so bad if there isn’t a lot.

Mental Health

I do personally have some mental health problems which I do not want to state but it is really hard dealing with them all the time. The things it has done to me such as made me lose interest in some of my most favourite things and so on. At school I am so very grateful for the protective factors I have at school such as my friends. All my closest friends are very aware of my mental state and constantly make sure I am okay all the time or if I need space, they are willing to oblige no matter what. In our group we all have some sort of mental health problem whether it is an actual mental disorder like me and a few of us or if we’re just going through something. All of us being there together is what makes us such a great group.

I cannot deal with change well as I am so used to things. For example, my gym closed after I have been working out for 4 months, that affected me a lot as it was a form of stress relief for me and some sort of therapy. That affected me pretty bad.

What most got in the way of my success?

I would say it would be my mental health due to the things I have lost or lost interest in due to my mental health. When I am at a low moment, I tend to put no effort into anything which definitely gets in the way of my school work, my hobbies, my interests and everything. When I am at a low moment, I literally turn into a potato that does nothing all day. It is like a very long term rut which is very very hard to get out of. The amount of things my mental health has prevented me from doing isn’t great but I am working on it.

Emotional Intelligence

In class we were told to read this article about the 18 behaviours of Emotionally Intelligent people.

https://time.com/3838524/emotional-intelligence-signs/?xid=time_socialflow_facebook

The 3 things I need to Improve on over the school year.

Being able to say no to myself and to others

When it comes to self control of helping others out, I basically almost have none. I always tend to put those I really do care about above myself and my own priorities so if someone asks me to do a favour, I will do it without hesitation, even if that means putting my priorities to the side.

Disconnecting from the Grid

Being 16 almost 17 years old in this modern day world, social media and the media in general are big things in my life as I basically grew up with them. With everything being based around technology in our day, it is very hard to disconnect. If I were to take my phone and laptop taken away from me, I would have no idea what to do other than sleep. I personally get really anxious is different situations and the way I cope with that is by plugging in my earpieces and go through my phone so I can zone out of reality which can be causing more harm than good.

Not getting enough Sleep

I personally don’t get enough sleep during school days. I try to sleep before 11pm and wake up at 6am on school nights which is 7 hours but I feel as if it isn’t enough for me as I always feel tired. Almost everyday the moment I would get home I would take a nap ranging from 1 hour to 3 hours which does take up my time therefore I have to work on that.

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