How to Deal With Post IB Intellectual Angst

This article gives an overview of how to effectively deal with intellectual dissatisfaction after going through the IB program.


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    Realize first that if you completed the IB program, did well on your exams, scored well on college placement exams etc., then you are probably just as intelligent as the people who got into your top choice schools. Quite simply, admissions committees don't quite know what to do with all the applicants they receive and don't judge decisions based on who was the best student and end up floating into the real of strange subjective things. You may hear differently from them though, but rest assured this is probably post-facto justification that helps them sleep at night. Additionally, no one really knows what goes on exactly in admissions rooms, especially for very "selective" universities, however much like a measurement of an undetermined quantum particle, the statistics allow us to know that there are some disturbing trends as of late, including but not limited to the rationing of admissions for minorities... Anyway, you're ok regardless, plus with the out of control grade inflation at most of those schools, your friends are in for quite an existential shock of their own once they graduate.
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    You might feel some sort of angst at the educational system or the state of your country of origin, so rather than ignoring these feelings, consider putting your IB training to good use and become a political dissident. The 1970s was famous for social unrest, civil rights progress, and cultural change. Maybe there's a cause you want to advocate for now, political or otherwise? Maybe come up with a new political theory on how social structures or political misconduct have led to current economic disparities. Angry disenchanted intellectuals have helped spur a lot of social progress throughout history.
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    If you're absolutely fed up with where you are now, consider leaving. If your next college is a boring intellectual wasteland, transfer to another one. If the patriarchy has got you down, join a lesbian commune. If entrenched social structures in your country of residence have spoiled your personal, spiritual or intellectual goals, become an expatriate and laugh at your countrymen across the border. Not fitting in with the mainstream can be the beginning of great personal growth and change.
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    Continue learning, including on your own. Seriously, nowadays any driven person with a computer can become a modern good will hunting. A lot of web developer types are self-taught, sometimes lectures in college are so terrible you have to teach yourself the material, or maybe the stuff you always wanted to learn about astronomy is posted online. Sidestep the ridiculousness that is getting into a decent college and just teach yourself. Also consider whether college is your thing. If you find your college is completely intellectually shallow (and it often is for us IB folks), consider transferring but also realize that dropping out is an option. Perhaps you could become a self made entrepreneur or forestall returning to college until you've given writing a novel a go. In this economy, many intelligent people are finding it hard to justify getting a degree in the first place.
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    Set goals and continue making progress. Being an independent thinker can be difficult but your continued constructive efforts should pay off. If you're in your view "unsuccessful" at the moment, you won't necessarily be in the future. Plus the economy sucks now regardless.


  • Productive intellectual pursuits include writing a book, learning a new language, learning to program or learning new scientific concepts. You can probably think of more. Many of these pursuits can lead to a degree of self employment, just think creatively!


  • The IB Programme is known to the State of Georgia to cause godlessness, thought crime, backtalk, critical thinking, political action and social unrest. Proceed with caution.

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Categories: Education and Communications