Single Status Update
NOTE: At the time I wrote this post, I wasn't exactly thinking clearly. Things ain't as bad as I made them out to be. Feel free to disregard everything below.
I know someone, somewhere who's undoubtedly got it worse off than me would probably read this and laugh at me for thinking that I've got "real" problems, but I need to get this shit out of my system.
For the past couple of months I've been dealing with quite a bit of depression and anxiety. A lot of it has to do with school. There's a couple of other factors, but they're pretty insignificant by comparison. Anyways, how many of you are aware of the International Baccalaureate? A quick google search will bring up thousands of people who describe it as something akin to "A fancy euphemism for Hell." They weren't kidding.
I'm already taking 6 of the hardest classes that my school has to offer, which I could probably deal with if that was all. The thing that's really driving me up the wall is a 7th non-class that they call Center Of The Hexagon. So in addition to the heaviest workload I've had in my entire life (including actually having a real job), I have to write two extra essays (The EE, which is 2,000-4,000 words long over a chosen topic and the TOK essay that's 1,200-1,600 words long over a prescribed title that makes no sense) and do 150 hours of community service. Think about that for a moment. Getting caught driving drunk would net less mandatory community service hours.
By now you're probably wondering "If you're so miserable with this system, why not drop it and go with AP or something?" Well, not only would that mean I'd be wasting 3.5 years worth of effort but I'd also be blowing my chances for the biggest financial advantage that I could ever hope for in my entire life barring the Rolling Cash 5 jackpot (which ain't happening). I've been going to this school for 4 straight years, so if I get accepted to Oberlin College then they'll pay my tuition. There's no way that my family and I would be able to afford something like that on our own, and we're already living significantly less than extravagantly. The staff has told me that at least 2 students last year got turned down for not taking the hardest classes, and that they're looking for IB diploma candidates (Take note for later that I said CANDIDATES, not graduates). This is my last-ditch effort at reaching above the bar for acceptance, and it's killing me.
The one thing I've done 100% right is getting a 30 on my ACT. My GPA is a 3.0 cumulative (because I didn't care freshman year and the flu killed my grades sophomore year) and a 3.3 so far senior year. I had straight As with the exception of 1 B and 1 D+. Why do I have a D+, you ask? There was one 100 point project that was worth 40% of my grade for the quarter in Environmental Studies that I turned in later than the 3-day grace period they gave me after being incapacitated for a few days by sickness. I had been turning in "A" work that entire class, and even that assignment was "A" work, but because it was late they gave me 50% and pulled my grade down from a B+ to a D+. That single-handedly brought my GPA down below the college's average right there. If I want to have a shot, I really need to focus all my efforts on getting my grades up this quarter. The problem is that I can't do that and keep ahead on my Center of the Hexagon shit at the same time. I already gave it all I had last quarter and they still fucked me.
However, I've been doing some thinking, and what's really the point of focusing on Center Of The Hexagon at all when it has no effect on my GPA and by the time any college knows whether I actually got an IB diploma or failed the Diploma Program and just got a regular one I'll have already either been accepted or denied in advance? Every single college I've looked at says they're looking for IBDP CANDIDATES, not actual recipients of an IB diploma. Even if I fail Center Of The Hexagon and end up with a normal high school diploma, I still took the hardest classes they had to offer and the colleges wouldn't know any different. However, if I go up front and drop it altogether so that I can focus on my other work then I'll technically no longer be an IBDP candidate.
I'm faced with a bit of an existential crisis here. I just wish I could know in advance which path would lead to me getting accepted (or if all of my options right now lead to failure) so that I could stop agonizing about it already and just know where my efforts need to lie and power through it all. It's tearing me apart inside even though it probably shouldn't be.
Does anyone have any advice before I completely lose it and end up doing something stupid that I'll regret later?
- Show previous comments 2 more
150 hours of community service sounds like a lot but you have, what, 6-9 months to do it all in? That won't be so bad and by the time you are done you will have more topics about how you helped people/society/mangled puppies & kittens to write about for all those really long essays you were mentioning earlier.
Also I think you should consider going to a talk therapist or guidance counselor because they are good at allowing you to vent your depression (depression and anxiety are anger turned inward toward the self) and helping you figure out which kinds of service work you would find least painful and matches your skill set.
edit: also bring your homework with you to those service work opportunities. You might be surprised that a lot of that time helping others you are actually sitting on your ass waiting for them to approach you.
The community service does sound like it could be a ballache, but - as TheCupboard said - if it's spread out over the year then it needn't be too bad, and could even add some nice balance to your week if you're spending a lot of your other time on school stuff. To what extent are you able to choose what you do?
Two short essays doesn't sound like it should give you too much trouble - what's the title that makes no sense?
Nothing you've said indicates to me that you should drop it.