Thoughts of an IB Year 1 Student

“The IB changes everything”. That’s what I have been told since Freshman year. Everyone would always tell me how the program was very hard, and so much work. The upperclassmen made it look like the IB was a dragon, and only the most fearless warriors (in this case, good students) could possibly slay it.

I’m going to be blunt. With people telling me those things, I was a little (very) scared of the IB. I didn’t really know what to expect of it. All of my friends who were Juniors or Seniors would tell me how hard it was, but a part of me would always hang on to hope and think: “Hey, it can’t be that bad”. So, with that scared mentality, but always hopeful, I lived through my freshman and sophomore years.

Unfortunately, I got older, and suddenly I was in Junior year. And we all know what happened Junior year. The IB started. Me being me, I got a really “great” start to the program by missing the first week of school.

But when I finally did walk into EAB to begin my eleventh year of school, all I could really think of was about the beast of many names, the IB. I was filled with doubts. I didn’t know if I had what it took to succeed. CAS, Extended Essay, and TOK were before only abstract concepts that were in my mind, light years away. Now suddenly they were right in front of me, nearly in touching distance.

I also knew that I was overthinking, and if I started over thinking from day one, I would be in trouble. So I told myself that I could do it, and walked into the classroom for my first ever IB lesson. And a couple of weeks later, now that the first quarter is drawing to a close, I can safely tell everyone that the IB is not as bad as it sounds.

I’m not going to lie. The program does bring more work. I have more homework now than I have ever had, and I find myself without a lot of the free time I used to have. It has gotten to a point where it feels strange when I’m not doing anything school related during weekdays.

I do realize that I have not really started the IB as we have not yet begun working on CAS or on our EE’s, let alone IA’s. But listen to me when I tell you that it is manageable. Of course the program is hard, and yes, it does involve a lot of work and quite some studying. But is not nearly as bad as people make it sound. The IB is not a dragon that wants to kill you and needs slaying. The IB is a friend, that challenges you a lot, but in the end of the day wants you to succeed as much as you do. If you can organize yourself and are willing to study, you WILL “beat” the IB! And I would like to tell all prospective IB students; you CAN do this. Don’t be afraid and keep your mind clear. If I can do it, so can you.

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