IB: the rigorous program that prepares students for university and life beyond high school while single handedly ruining your social life. On the surface, IB is simply a two-year program that challenges and encourages students to only do their best academically and interact with the community. However, there’s much more that goes on behind the scenes.
One common misconception about IB is how difficult it is. In truth, IB isn’t hard. The only thing hard about it is managing your time, as there is always something for you to do. There is just so much to do that it is almost impossible to keep up your grades up. A lot of students tend to “sacrifice” an assignment, meaning they will hand in an assignment that isn’t their best work but they need something done. Students will then use the next assignment to help bring up their grades.
IB forces students to go outside their comfort zones. This can be really useful in some situations but IB does have a tendency to taking over our lives. As a form of cathartic release, there is even a website dedicated to funny IB-related quotes and jokes. One of my favorites is:
Soccer coach writes “V” on the board
Normal players: Oh yay! One-on-one!
IB players: What’s absolute value of “V”?
Aside from infiltrating every aspect of your social life, IB brings out some odd baviour in students. IB students are obsessed with their calculators, which are your best friends in IB Math. One day I had a math test and I thought I had forgotten my calculator at home. So upsetting was the thought that I would have to sit the test without my calculator, I was almost in tears. Fortunately, I found it and lived to calculate another day.
In IB English, it’s good to know that no matter what novel you read, you can just say that it was a “commentary on society” – specifically our materialistic and selfish nature. Furthermore, someone almost always dies. For example, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka: The protagonist dies and the book suggests that it was a selfless act that led to the resurrection of his family.
When IB students say we have no social life, we truly do not have a social life. Even when you have a free night, there’s always going to be something for you to do, whether it’s fulfilling your 150 hours of CAS (Community, Action, Service) requirements, working on your extended essay or finishing homework that is due next week. As an IB student, we have to pick between sleep and a social life, and if you’re smart, you pick sleep.
Jodie is beijingkids’ student correspondent and is our eyes and ears on the ground. A junior student at Western Academy of Beijing, Jodie is also a contributor to the student-run magazine Unit-E. Check back for more of her blogs about student life.