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Was IB worth it? (from an IB graduate)

When I was younger, I disliked school because the learning was structured in such a one-directional way. The teacher spoke, and we only sat quietly, took notes, and went to the next class. I remember liking several of my teachers, but I don’t remember ever speaking with them, whether in or out of class. I did well grade-wise, but I never felt my mind genuinely spark for specific subjects; I never felt part of the learning or that I added value in any way by my presence.

Growing up in America, I struggled with English, causing me to agree with anybody who threw information my way. Whether it be about world issues, interpretation of novels, or scientific discoveries, I was only a follower of these arguments. However, IB changed me. I started seeing ideas and perspectives three-dimensionally. Not only am I able to conceptualize harder ideas, but I’m also able to write informative essays that underline global developments.

TOK class inspired me to question the world on a philosophical level. It provided me with an incentive to research women in science and other topics that fascinated me. With IB, I have evolved into a leader that sees both the benefits and costs of historical and modern worldly actions. I now have various interests in science, international relations, and business because of some of the classes I’ve taken (SL Economics, HL History, and HL Biology). IB helped foster my language skills (English and Chinese), allowed me to think critically, and overall be confident!

I’ve always valued personable exchanges of thoughts, and I don’t find larger learning structures energizing or rewarding. Put simply, I don’t like to be strictly on the receiving end of a conversation. I suppose too, as a student, I worry about the knowledge barrier that disallows a dialectic between the adults and students. However, IB created an ideal learning structure for me to have a higher-level education. So yes, IB was indeed worth it to me.

You may also like…

• Bryan’s post on how the IB is different from the IGCSE is here
• Aaryaa’s overview of why you should do the IB is here


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