Article by: Meg Barraca
Photograph by: Ana Natividad
The International Baccalaureate, or the IB: the acronym only consists of two letters, yet it plays an important role in determining the course of students’ college careers, depending on how well they perform throughout it. This year’s juniors and seniors have had their fair share of the IB, being at least a month and a half into the program, but to the remaining underclassmen, the hype surrounding the International Baccalaureate largely remains a mystery. To pre-IB students, especially this year’s sophomores, the unspoken question hangs in the air: how much truth is in the rumors that surround the IB?
Freshman Kay S., believes that the “IB is quite terrifying; it eats up all of your time and minimizes your social life.” This is a popular viewpoint among underclassmen, that may be formed by complaints from upperclassmen about the tediousness and strain that the extensive two-year course brings. She adds, “However, I think that if you manage your time correctly you can make it through.”
This outlook is echoed by senior Sarena N., who is undergoing her second year in IB. “As long as you don’t procrastinate, it is possible to retain a healthy balance in your life,” she says. Her viewpoint on the IB curriculum is that it is “not all bad” due to the study hall period that 11th and 12th graders have the privilege of enjoying.
Additionally, Sarena mentions that it also depends on the courses students choose to take, as some classes carry a heavier load than others. Junior Tigha M.suggests that when it is their turn to choose classes, underclassmen should “pick courses that [they are] interested in, as they determine the direction of [their] college life.” He imparts, “if you pick classes that you’re not as interested in, especially as a higher level subject, IB will not be as likeable.” He also acknowledges the importance of tutorial time, advising to “use [it] wisely, as teachers are interactive and helps you understand better.” Meanwhile, Sarena N. recommends relying heavily on the textbooks given for each class. “Textbooks are your friends,” she states. Another tip she gives is to “use your study halls productively,” as they will be much needed in order to complete the massive amount of schoolwork.
Although IB certainly has its ups and downs, underclassmen can rest assured that it is not as terrifying and insurmountable as it initially may seem to be!