With Grade 11 almost ending in a couple of months and Grade 12 beginning in early September, I was reminiscing about the many happy times that high school has brought, but all the stressful periods during my high school career. If you decided to open this blog post looking for an answer on whether you should join IB or not, I do not have the appropriate experience to give you an affirmative answer like yes or no. However I can give you my general opinion about the IB program. Just a few days ago, I was having coffee with one of my friends which I have known since junior high we were chatting about high school and university. Him and I both regretted not pursuing higher learning through the International Baccalaureate program commonly referred to as IB. The International Baccalaureate program is an international educational program that develops social, intellectual, emotional and personal skills for success in post-secondary and in the “real world.” The program has been associated with words like grueling and hellish which makes individuals regard the program with many negative connotations. I was convinced that IB would result in many sleepless nights and no free time but the reality of IB is that it is totally manageable if you schedule your time properly and efficiently.
Personally, I feared failure and underachieving in my studies which swayed me from taking the IB program. I was never a dumb kid or top of my class; I was a bit smarter than the average student. However, the sole fear of failure influenced my final decision in not pursuing IB. Rumors were commonly spread about the harshness and difficulty of the IB program and the many sleepless nights you would have to endure. Coffee would be your best friend and 6 hours of sleep would be the norm. It was only talking with one of my friends who decided to take IB that I realize the program was not as demanding and challenging as I had imagined it to be. I was convinced the program was only for the most gifted and brightest students of the bunch, but it is only now that I realize that most students are not intellectually superior in the program instead have strong work ethics and determination. Students who struggle with the program often procrastinate, with time management skills IB is easily manageable. I have met many IB students who volunteer on a weekly basis as IB does not necessarily have to be stressful if you organize your time well.
One of the lessons to be learned is to not believe all the rumors you hear whether about a teacher being terrible or a program being challenging. Let yourself be the judge and have your own opinion not dictated by others. It was a major flaw that I had going into high school trusting others more than myself, as I lacked confidence in my own decision making skills. Fortunately, high school has progressively improved this terrible habit of mine and I no longer lack confidence in my decisions.
One advice I can give you is to experience new things whether you like it or not. Our decisions are influenced by prejudice, however try new things without forming any preconceived notions. So, whether if IB is right or wrong for you, it depends on yourself through your personal experience. Remember if IB is not right for you, you can always drop out before the start of grade 11 something I wish I knew. Not achieving the grades, you expected in grade 10 due to IB is nothing to worry about, ultimately its your grades in grade 12 that are looked over during your university application. I suggest that you join IB and evaluate whether this program is for you or not.