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Getting Prepped for University: Life after the IB

The summer after completing your IBDP is a time to relax, have fun and completely forget about all the worries you once had as a Diploma student! Now that you’ve received your results and you’ve met the grades to get into the University of your choice, you have years of fun and excitement (but don’t forget the hard work) ahead of you.

We asked a couple of our tutors, Anna and Daniil, both IB grads themselves how best to prepare, relax, and the one thing you need for freshers week.

It’s not always clear how best to prepare for the first year of your Bachelors. Different universities, give different advise, or you may just be told to sit back, relax and recharge. Daniil, who achieved 44 in his Diploma and is currently studying Microengineering at EPFL, explained from his experience that “a lot of courses will start with some things you learnt in school, but at a much more sophisticated level. To prepare EPFL suggests a brochure with math theory and exercises to practice.”

Anna, who scored a perfect 45 and now studies Medicine at the University of Bristol, offered more practical advice. She explained that, “no one can and should be fully prepared… Everyone is in the same boat when they arrive, and learning about the new city you’re living in, and how to cope independently, is far less daunting when you can muddle through it together with some new friends.” However, Anna did add that looking at the clubs and societies you might want to join, buying a cookbook and practising some dishes is a good start!

Academically, both Anna and Daniil explained that you should be well prepared and have an advantage over your peers for University study having complete the IB Diploma. Both told me that she didn’t find the first year of her undergrad much more stressful than DP2, the IB had prepared her well in managing her time, prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines. Daniil added that the great thing about his course is that it has allowed him to specialise in areas of interest and go far beyond the IB syllabi in Maths and Physics to explore new areas. University study has also helped Anna in developing her academic skills, as “is a lot more independent than any kind of school work. If you want to do well, it is expected that you take the initiative to go to the library/do some reading on your own.”

But don’t forget that University isn’t just about work, you should have fun and enjoy yourself also, taking advantage of your newly gained independence!

Anna’s advice for Freshers Week is to have a relaxed attitude! It is a massive step for some people to leave home and go to university, but if you just take each day as it comes and be willing to be a bit more confident in talking to new people, it will all go so much smoother.