chapter taken from: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Successful-International-Baccalaureate-Student/dp/0993418783
The day of your last exam will be a day that you remember for a very long time. I finished my last exam more than 10 years ago and I still remember that day as if it was yesterday. It will be a strange feeling. You go from having no free time at all, to suddenly having the longest and most carefree summer of your life. When you walk out of that exam room, you will want to celebrate but you will also be so incredibly exhausted that I suggest you go home and hibernate.
The reason I wanted to write a quick chapter on this is because I have seen over the years an alarming number of students suffer almost from a kind of post-IB depression. In the sense that, they just don’t know what to do with all this free time they have acquired. Students have even told me they feel like they don’t have a purpose anymore, now that IB is finished. They feel empty inside and unsure about moving onto the next stage in life.
First off, know that what you're feeling is very normal. Even if your friends are not talking about it, there are tons of people reading this who feel much of what you feel. I felt it after most major milestones (high school, year by year in college, etc.). There are short-term and long-term things you should do, and I'll detail a few of them and why you should do them:
Exercise – even if you hate exercise, go take a walk. Go play tennis with a friend, or go swimming, or something. Do this at least 3-5 times per week, and you will soon find that you crave the activity. It will do wonders for your state of mind.
Get sunlight. It seems strange, but sunlight causes your body to release all sorts of things it needs, including neurotransmitters which regulate mood.
Read – you've spent the last two years reading mostly what others imposed on you, so you've built up some animosity toward reading. But you probably used to love it, and you can again (and it will make you healthier and happier). If you need suggestions, PM me.
Make others happy. Part of how we define our self-worth comes through service to others. So go make someone's day. Maybe you take a younger sibling to some activity they love. Take your dog for a walk. Go volunteer somewhere not because you need CAS, but because helping people makes you feel better.
Long term, you have goals and a plan. What are small steps you can take toward those goals now? Maybe you read a book or journal article for self-education. Maybe you work on a website. Maybe you browse the syllabi for the classes you're taking this fall and decide to start learning ahead of time?
On the positive side, I do still contend that in the vast majority of cases, life tends to get better after IB. By that I mean, the workload and the stress at university is, by and large, substantially less than the two years of IB. I say this as someone who went to supposedly the best university in the UK. I honestly felt that IB was more stressful and difficult than my three years at Oxford.
Keep yourself busy and try and have some carefree fun!