3 options to consider if you’re not ready for college

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On July 6, 2022, thousands of International Baccalaureate (IB) students around the world will finally experience the fruits of their hard work. If you are one of the exam candidates who have stage fright IB Results Day — don’t sweat! It’s completely normal to feel nervous no matter what you think you’ve done during exams.

Perhaps your apprehension has less to do with your grades and more to do with determining your path after graduation. Maybe you didn’t plan for the chapter of your life as a high school student to end so soon.

The pandemic has certainly upended our sense of time, stretching months into years, while some weeks feel like just a few days have passed. Online schooling may have robbed you of your full IB experience, and now that it’s over, you’re not sure how to navigate your next steps.

You might feel the need to follow the crowd and go straight to college after getting your IB results. Your peers are already considering the final stages of their candidacy as you ponder the wisdom of pursuing graduate school immediately.

If you’re still undecided about your academic path, it might be time to think outside the box a bit. Depending on what you think is good for you, there are several doors you can unlock with your IB results instead of progressing through a traditional undergraduate program.

Apprenticeship training gives you the right balance of study and practical experience to boost your job prospects after graduation. Source: Fred Tanneau/AFP

Beyond college degrees: Here’s what you can do with your IB results

Consider an apprenticeship

By now, you may feel that a rigid academic structure of classes and assignments isn’t right for you, but you don’t want to let that option slip away completely. It’s there that diploma apprenticeshipsgraduate degrees or any other form of vocational training are emphasized.

Contrary to popular belief, learning is not limited to the trade sector alone. The breadth of industry embracing apprenticeships includes business, media and creative design, cybersecurity, and aerospace engineering, to name a few. Whether or not you are enrolled in a degree course, you always have the option of continuing your education.

It’s much more convenient and you’ll need to be good at time management to juggle work and study. Considering that an apprenticeship is much cheaper and is even fully funded if you qualify for it, the rewards are substantial and you are much more ready to take off in your career after completing your studies.

Your options after IB Results Day

You save money if you choose to work after school, while gaining valuable work experience to improve your soft skills. Source: Atta Kenare/AFP

Gain work experience

Putting your books aside for real-world exposure isn’t a bad idea. With rising tuition and the cost of living, more and more high school leavers are choosing to postpone their studies to find a job. Your IB diploma prepares you well for the job to distinguish you in the eyes of the recruitment team.

The IB programme, whether through the Diploma Program (DP) or Career-related program (CP), both have components that combine applied knowledge with practical skills. If you took the DP route, you have completed the mandatory requirements creativity, action, service (CAS) from your degree, which included community service, project management, and decision-making. CP students would be familiarized with further career-related study to complete their professional development.

Either way, gaining initial work experience is a significant way for you to take advantage of the holistic aspects of your IB education. In addition, work gives you a new perspective on the realities of professional life. This could direct you to an industry that appeals to you, which will make it easier to select courses if you decide to continue your studies later.

Your options after IB Results Day

Whether you choose to volunteer at a shelter or take free online classes, a gap year can be positive for your personal development if you spend it well. Credit: Isaac Lawrence/AFP

Take time to figure things out

A gap year can be fun and intimidating at the same time. You’ve been preparing for exams all your life, and taking a break from charting your path is a welcome break. Too much free time, however, can lead to idleness and complacency. With the right diethowever, taking a year off after getting your IB results can be life changing for many reasons.

With stress and anxiety on the rise among young people, a gap year is just an opportunity for you to recalibrate your sanity. Spend time pursuing new hobbies and things that bring you joy, or learn a new language through free online lessons without the pressure of being graded. Explore new places if you can, even if it’s just in your town.

Volunteering is another way to make full use of your time. You can reconnect with the organizations you gave of your time to during your IB years and take on more responsibility for serving your community while developing your soft skills at the same time.

Spending your year with worthwhile activities will reveal more about you than you might think. There is no prescribed method to go about it, and you will come out of it with greater self-awareness, which is a crucial trait that would help you decide your future.

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