Grade twelve began with a scramble to finish (or rather, start) Extended Essay first drafts, catch up on IAs and figure out what exactly to do about university – if anything at all.
Fast forward two months, we are now in October. Many Extended Essays are still unfinished, the majority of IAs still need work, but, on the plus side, many students now have a fair idea about what they want to do regarding university. Granted, this is due only to the fact that the application process has now begun.
October is oft regarded as the “stressful month” – because all of the other months are an absolute breeze! Yet October is indeed the time when Naviance must be updated, teacher recs are written and grade twelves frantically get their personal statements down, ready to submit. Oh, and then there are the predicted grades.
Predicted grades have become somewhat of a taboo. I had never given them much thought; I knew I would need to get them at some point soon (that point being right about now). However, with those applying early having already received their predicteds amidst the confusion of the change in system, there is some tension around the subject. Teachers are weary of students trying to up their given grades, and many students are, of course, wanting the highest scores possible. Mr. Lakin said he would not change a predicted for a million dollars, and Mr. Meitanis has threatened his entire IB Year 2 Psychology class with fours or nothing.
Juan Bonta (’17), who already received his predicted grades, said he “would recommend a tolerant discussion in order to understand your teacher’s position too,” something he does not feel he did particularly well. He also encourages students to “let the outcome shape your future expectations, and don’t allow previously existing ambitions to discredit your effort”. Ultimately, predicted grades are indeed important, but they are not the be-all end-all determination of anyone’s future.
Those who applied early for the UK and the US did so before the October break. How they managed to get everything in place beforehand, I do not know. Anika Paulson (’17), who applied early for a school in the US, said that “it was a good thing to have done” because “we hear back within two weeks and if we don’t get in, we can still apply to more”. If they do get accepted and decide to go, “it allows [them] to relax and enjoy twelfth grade a bit more rather than constantly stressing over getting into uni”. This is especially relevant to those going to the US who receive unconditional offers.
For those of us who are applying with the regular deadline, the time has come to finish off polishing our personal statements, finalize our list of universities and courses, and get ready to submit the applications that will indeed determine the next few years of our lives. No big deal, right?
Now that October is nearly over, here’s to the ‘easy’ months ahead!
Maddie Schulz (’17)
Photography: Creative Commons