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  • Writer's pictureElisha Bae

The IB is... something different

It's been less than a month since I started the IB Diploma program, but I can already tell you that my experiences in IGCSE didn't prepare me for the emotional ride that is the IB.

I'm not saying that the work is hard (but the work is hard) — it's a manageable amount right now, but compared to IGCSEs, I have to change my whole thinking process to satisfy what the IB wants the students to do. There is a lot of interdisciplinary aspects of the course, where you can link different subject area knowledge together to support your thinking, which I really like. But that also means that I need to be on top of everything in all the subjects.

My peers are also probably going through similar issues in varying degrees but now that we're so close to the next step, which is college, everyone is a little bit irritable and caustic. I think this invisible pressure/stress between the whole year group is making me stress out even more. I can only hope that this will die down soon.

The one other thing that is driving me crazy is the sheer amount of brainpower it takes for me to write a paragraph or two in Theory of Knowledge. It's nothing like philosophy and the fact that we're questioning knowledge itself just feels like a Möbius strip. I'm starting to question everything I've been taught in my life because of the questions that get thrown at us in ToK class.

I can't really say that I don't like the IB program; I still think it's a lot better than the way that we were taught in IGCSE, but it would have been better to be told. Although, now that I think about it, I wouldn't have been able to do much with that information anyway without experiencing it firsthand.

That's my first impression of the IB — hope I can say something different about it by the time I graduate..!

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