Traveling to England and starting the IB has had a big impact on my daily life. This is no surprise to anyone I think? I literally moved to another country so expecting nothing to change is a bit ambitious. But there is one thing I did not think about when starting school here: the amount of work. Back in Norway we never had a lot of homework, and the tests were never too challenging for me (Norwegian school system smh), so I didn’t really think about how different it would be coming here.
In the beginning, it was overwhelming. Homework every day for at least an hour and a half (never done that before). And every Sunday became study day with taking notes and revising (never really done that either). It was too big of a change so fast. Back home I danced yes, but here I had clubs for an hour+ after school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I ended up using my free periods to sleep and signed in for early curfew (before 9pm) almost every day.
I can say that in the four months here I have grasped the concept of one extremely important thing: time management. I learned how to be able to have fun and manage my time enough to have time for myself without feeling guilty.
I have a few things I always try to do to make life a little easier for me:
Most of you probably use one anyways, I didn’t. Since getting here I started using a planner, and it is lifesaving. I write down everything I need to do/remember in a day, everything. I usually have a lot going on at once so having a planner is helping me plan my day and make sure I don’t forget anything (I sometimes do anyways, but it’s gotten A LOT better with the planner)
Getting enough sleep is everything. I have this issue where I sometimes sleep all the time for a couple of weeks and then I have times when I just can’t sleep at all. Without sleep, your grades will slip, along with your mood, and your friends will get worried, and life will be horrible. So, if you can (and have time) SLEEP. (20 min Powernaps recommended, not hours)
Taking notes in class will make it easier to revise later, so do it (future you will thank you). I use OneNote and have different sections for each subject and it’s great to have everything in one place, and I can reach my notes anywhere I go.
Figure out which study methods work for you, do not just read and take notes, it takes ages and there is probably a way for you to learn faster and better.
Notes don’t have to look pretty; they just need to be understandable (I’m a hypocrite for saying this). But seriously: DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. Nobody will see your notes, but a lot of people might see your grades!
Pro-tip: be careful and selective when highlighting, because too much will just be horrible and annoying and you will hate yourself for it.
Have a backup:
Google drive, ICloud, Dropbox, somewhere, anywhere. Always have backups of everything. If your computer crashes and you do not have a backup you’re stuck, trust me. I did that mistake literally three weeks ago and it was horrible. With the backup online you can reach your documents and notes wherever you are (as long as you got an internet connection). Its great and cheap and completely necessary!
Take a break when you need it:
I did a post about this a few weeks ago, and I stand by it. When you need a break, take one. Only twenty minutes to clear your head is everything. It might not seem like a good idea right there and then, but it can help clear your head and make it easier to focus later.
(you can read the post here: https://marierim.blog/2017/01/23/the-importance-of-taking-a-break-exploring-oxford/ )