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


  • 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.

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