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Perfect IB scorer 2017: Siri Livingston, ESF KGV

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Brief background:

I'm Danish and Canadian and grew up in Hong Kong.

Q. How will you celebrate your great results?

I'll be celebrating with plenty of tea and cake with my parents, by enjoying nature, and getting lots of sleep.

Q. What are your plans for the summer?

I’m travelling in Europe with my family followed by a Danish course. There should be plenty of time for hobbies such as drawing outdoors and making music, and maybe for some part-time tutoring too. 

Q. What are your plans for the next academic year?

I hope to go to Cambridge University to do a BA in philosophy. 

Q. Do you have a particular career in mind?

The “career” I’m currently thinking of is my university one. Further ahead, I hope to make the most of my university education and use all the great skills honed by studying philosophy—critical thinking, reasoning ability, concise communication—to do well in whatever comes after. Deciding to study philosophy was a matter of realising I took pleasure in learning about different concepts and was curious to discover more. 

Q. How did you relax during the peak study period in your final year?

During study leave, I felt like a sponge soaking up stress. It was really crucial to incorporate exercise in my routine, as well as spending time outside to enjoy nature. To relax, I turned to escapist-type activities like books and movies to briefly think about something other than exams. That helped me stay sane. Even keeping a journal about your revision plans and progress can help in feeling more relaxed and in control. 

Q. What is your favourite hobby and what do you like it?

Throughout my last two years at school, writing songs was very therapeutic. I even composed an “Ode to IB” at one point. What I like best is using my creativity to construct playful lyrics and chords.

Q. Do you play a sport and why did you choose it?

If you can call it a sport, I like running and cross country. I chose it because a lot comes down to your own drive and motivation. I decide where, for how long, and how fast I'll run.

Q. Have you been involved in any volunteer or charity work during your final year?

I was involved in a programme that allowed immigrants to practise their English with students who acted as tutors.  

Q. Can you offer some advice for students approaching their last year at school?

Stay positive, get your sleep, and find a way to de-stress in some small way every single day. If it helps to study in a nearby café at weekends instead of always being at your desk, do that. Also, take regular short breaks even if it’s just to go to the supermarket or a dumpling shop. A 15-minute break at the right time won't ruin your grades, but it could help your general outlook and mental health, which is really essential because the IB is a long haul. If you have a park or garden nearby, go there to de-stress—nature is indeed very calming. 

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