7 Reasons to 'IB' it Up (no pun intended)

As I come closer and closer to the end of senior year and graduation, I can't help but look back on the last (almost) 8 years of my life- into the education system that I've been a part of since the fourth grade: the IB program. Two years ago, I began the IB Diploma Program- one of the most respected, most difficult programs in the world. We can all, as IB students, agree that the IB is no joke, because pulling all-nighters and finishing essays the day before they were due are just some of the skills we have. But honestly what are the benefits of this hellish program? Well, it's me so here's another list (once again).

  1. It's a challenge- making it through the IB program is no easy task because it is a very well rounded curriculum. To do well in the IB doesn't mean just memorising a textbook of content or being able to list all the facts- you have to be able to apply what you know to new situations.
  2. It helps you to develop excellent critical thinking skills- from the beginning of the IB program, we are pushed to have our own opinion on what is happening in the world, as well as attempt to understand the perspectives of the people around us. IB pushes us to question the world around us, and try to make sense of why everything is the way it is.
  3. It transforms you into an independent learner- by carrying out independent research, writing many investigative essays, completing a personal project and writing an Extended Essay, IB helps you develop the skills you need to understand the world around you without depending on anyone else.
  4. It gives you your first taste of the real world- three words: Creativity, Action, Service- for me, some of the best, more memorable parts of the DP program have come from my CAS activities. Whether it be volunteering at a local shelter, or helping to host a yoga workshop for street children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (best spring break EVER!), CAS shows you that the world isn't a perfect place, and there is a lot that we as individuals can do to help society move forward.
  5. It impels you to be a well-rounded person with a wide variety of interests- throughout the program, we are encouraged to develop our talents, be able to express ourselves, but also write good essays and learn theories. We are exposed to a variety of subjects, and thus can discover our own individual interests.
  6. It helps you to develop a holistic, accepting state of mind- most IB communities are international, and being open and appreciating about other cultures besides your own is definitely an IB value.
  7. It makes you a part of a global elite (and very small) group of highly intelligent, talented individuals- Globally, there are only about 1 million IB students- it's one of the smallest educational minorities.

IB is tough, and it's definitely not a program for the faint-hearted. But I've been a part of it for 8 years, and yes although at times it has been a real challenge, I definitely do not regret being an IB student.