Q: How did you find the IB?
A: To me, conquering the IB was the most rewarding and fulfilling thing to date. And no, it wasn’t just coping with the sheer intensity of the academics, the IB – in its essence – promotes a holistic learning platform. The innumerable skills gained and the like-minded peers in particular, transformed me as an individual. In fact, my strongest bonds are with those from the IB.
Q: How did you find the transition to university? Was it smooth?
A: Honestly, the first semester was incredibly hectic. Time management alone overrode my life. Balancing coursework, clubs and part time-work was a struggle. The IB helped develop me on an intellectual level… yes, let’s be honest, CAS alone is not enough for a balanced lifestyle. University is the next step, this time developing me in the areas of life I neglected during the IB – social life particularly. The best part about university is the freedom you are given. Coupled with the enhanced academic skills and efficiency gained from the IB (helping me stress less), I now have more room to explore the wide world outside.
Q: You mentioned balance, can you elaborate on how you maintained a balanced lifestyle?
A: Time management was a difficult thing to master initially but for university, it is absolutely crucial. Now you have to take matters into your own hands; you choose your work hours, you choose whether to skip classes or not. Unlike the IB where my parents and teachers guided me, I went from taking the passenger seat to being the driver. Work-play balance is tough. It’s the real world. IB helped me with learning how to prioritise what is more important, and this helps you be more efficient during study. Productivity becomes essential. It’s all a process of development and growth, and everyone progresses at a different rate.
The one thing you should prioritise above all else though, is health. Your GPA is secondary. Don’t forget that!
Q: You’re doing a dual Bachelor of Engineering/Physics. What is your favourite field of engineering or science? Why?
A: Aerospace engineering seems to pique my interest! I would like to do some astrophysics electives though, considering how much I enjoyed the option topic in IB Physics. IB gave me a taste of different subjects and different fields. Thanks to it, now I can streamline my specialisation and hopefully pave my career by doing so. I really am beginning to prefer the engineering side of things due to the practicality. For instance, I did a hands-on practical involving a gyroscope – used extensively in space – and holding it was the most fascinating thing ever! Basically the gyroscope can hang on a thread and defy gravity by way of precession. Super cool stuff. Seeing theoretical concepts in the real world seems to spark a dormant childhood joy in me.
Q: Can you share with us a useful study tip?
Practice questions and exams early, and learn content through questions! Learn the theory, and then apply that knowledge as soon as possible, because exams arrive before you know it. At university, our time is usually divided between quizzes, assignments, labs, mid-sem exams, and other stuff, while being expected to attend lectures and learn lots of new content continuously. The stupidity that continues to plague me and many, is neglecting practice till the end. The funny thing is that we had it pretty good in IB – 2 whole years to perfect our knowledge of the content. In university, it’s a semester-to-semester sprint. There’s no luxury to take things calmly or leave study towards the end. Practice and apply theoretical knowledge early on!
Thanks for joining us this week in the first part of our interview series with 40+ IB graduates. Stay tuned for more interviews with stellar IB graduates!