Weight gain is an all too familiar battle for not only me, but many more students around the world. I’m sure there are periods of your time where you tend to eat more. Be it the time of the month, during a time of high stress or when you’re bored, either way - your hand is reaching for that bag of sweets and those sweets are soon in your mouth. Well, doing the IB is quite like being on a perpetual period, it’s painful, can be bloody and seems to last forever. To counteract the almost inevitable weight gain, make sure you know what you’re eating. Your body image is the last thing you want plaguing your mind.
2. Fitness? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
After a hard day of slogging off at school, fitness is right at the back of your mind. Working out at the gym sounds absolutely ridiculous after 7 hours of non-stop brain activity, and going on a run? Um, please. However, this tip really goes hand in hand with the one above. Working out actually leaves most people feeling more energised after the work out, than they were to start out with. Exercising is not limited to lifting weights and going on five mile runs. Find what works for you. Pilates, yoga, aqua jogging, spinning, whatever, just do it (pun intended.) You may be thinking “I hardly have enough time to sleep let alone work out.” 30 minutes out of 24 hours is just 2% of your day. TWO PERCENT. Think about it.
3. Be selfish.
There are going to be many times when you will have to sacrifice socialising for schoolwork. You may feel as if you are letting your friends down but listen, you have the right to put your own self and your own future over others. These two years hold a significant amount of potential to shape the next few years of your life (maybe even the rest of your life) give them the importance that they require and deserve. Give yourself the importance that you require and deserve.
4. Read outside of your English curriculum.
Reading is good for the soul. As we grow older, we seemingly have less time to sit down and read a novel that we want to. Too often I find myself falling asleep with a book I’m assigned to read in my hands. Studying really does take the joy out of reading. I’m sure your childhood was filled with a love or appreciation for books. Reading engages your mind, broadens your understanding of the complexity of humans (not to mention your vocabulary) and can transport you to another world. Read whatever you want - cliche romance novels, your favourite childhood book, classic literature, a horror story that’ll make you shit your pants. Just read.
5. Never deny yourself the joy of listening to music.
If you’re in need of new songs go on 8tracks.com. They have tonnes of playlists made by very cool people (really, as cool as you could possibly get i suppose) who have insanely good music tastes.
6. Your peers don’t care.
Regardless of what pre-university curriculum you may be doing, high school seems like a fighting pit. As if you’re the losing gladiator in the colosseum filled by your onlooking peers. You may feel as if everyone is looking at you, just waiting for you to mess up so that they can laugh in your face. In all honesty, they are all just worrying about themselves. Your peers don’t care what you dress like, what kind of music you listen to, the pitch of your voice, the colour of your hair. They don’t care what you do. It is so hard internalising this but you must.
7. Take ‘mental health’ days
There will times when things just get a bit too much. Take a day of school and just spend it on yourself. You will not miss out much in one day - you can always ask your friends what you missed anyways. Take this day to watch the movies you want to, eat the food you want to, paint your nails the colour you’ve been wanting to but have had no time for. Take your dog on a walk. Eat ice cream from a cone. Take this day to focus on you. It can get a bit draining otherwise.
8. Respect your parents.
As a teenager, we often forget to respect our parents. We’re just far too busy to reply when they call, or answer their questions or give them a proper sentence that consists of more than just “fine” when they ask us how our days went. Your parents are your biggest supporters. They will stand by you when others wont. Respect them.
9. Make time for the little things.
In two years, you will be at university, bogged down with even more work than you have now. Take time to see the beauty in your current surroundings. Savour your last few years of childhood. You will look back on this time and regret that you didn’t otherwise.
10. Have faith in the process.
You may loose motivation. You may feel it is too hard. You may want to quit and call it a night. Don’t give up. You must not. Have faith in the process, have faith in whatever you believe in: Jesus, Allah, Vishnu, Buddha, the universe, science, the law of attraction - whatever it is, have faith and trust the process.