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Should You Join IB?

Joining IB is a very hard choice that everyone has faced, or will soon face. This anxious feeling that you get thinking about how hard it’s gonna be as an IB student is one distinct feeling that I still remember. This feeling, along with the pressure of choosing the right courses that best suite your interests and future career is another aspect that was hard to forget seeing as to how I ended up choosing courses that I soon regret taking. As a senior in IB, I am fully capable of listing the advantages and disadvantages of joining IB in hopes of helping you understand whether this would be the right choice for you, and guide you into choosing the right courses.

Advantages:

  • Learn how to manage your time
    • As you will be given a lot of assignments, and projects, you will learn how to manage your time. Even though many of you might struggle, the same way I still struggle, if you learn not to procrastinate you will be able to organise your time wisely.
  • Possibly skip your first year in college, and get the chance of joining rigorous programmes in high ranking universities
    • IB courses allow you to skip introductory courses in some colleges, which serves as an advantage as you get to spend less time in college!
  • Enjoy in-depth courses
    • Many classes (such as biology) are classes that teach very challenging, yet interesting topics. In biology for instance, I learned so many things that I am able to relate to my daily life. This still stuns me, as I would actually understand many interesting things that I always questioned. Have you heard of monarch butterflies? The decrease in this species of butterflies is an example of something that I still notice at summer.

butterfly

  • Learn how to think independently
    • In many assignments, you are given the option of choosing what to discuss. This is something that may seem annoying, but this really helps you think independently, and just be more reliant on yourself.
  • Develop a second language
    • As you would have to choose a second language, make sure to choose a language you are motivated to learn, have a little background about, or is just one that you are relatively interested in. Do not just pick a second language course, assuming that it is easy! You’d be surprised, as in every language course, you will face challenges.
  • You become a well-rounded student
    • Based on the activities, and many different activities that you will have to do, you will become a well rounded individual that contributes in your community and experiences different sorts of activities.
  • Develop certain skills such as how to effectively write a lab report, or analyse text
    • Teachers will guide you into understanding how well-written, strong lab reports and other assignments are written. Through the several chances you’ll get, in the end you will be able to independently write up a great report!
  • CAS allows you to experience new activities and enjoy positively contributing to your community
    • As CAS is a necessity in IB, you will be forced to do CAS. But actually, its not as bad as you think it is. With CAS, you will be able to balance out all aspects of creativity, activity and service. I got to enjoy creative activities that I never considered joining!
  • TOK as an eye-opener
    • TOK actually allows to to question “how” something is. If you are interested in such discussions, you will definitely enjoy this class, as it is completely different compared to other conventional classes.

Disadvantages:

  • Stress!
    • With the workload you’ll face, you will have a lot of stress! Internal assessments and Extended essays are even more stressful!
  • Lots of work and tests!
    • Even though teachers give you some time to complete assignments, too many are given out! Because of all your work, you are probably gonna be sleep deprived as you will always have to finish something the night before. This is a major concern as tests, and work do get in the way of your social life as well.
  • CAS is an issue for people with no time
    • Many of you have other priorities, and don’t have time for CAS. This is an issue as this is mandatory, and so IB would possibly restrict your social life.

joke

There might be more advantages than disadvantages, but these, to me are the most important. Be sure to consider everything and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, and try something new. The experience may be tiring, but in my opinion this payed off in the end!

By: Laila Abdelrazek