Grade 12 Student Writer Chronicles Journey to Falling in Love with the IB Diploma Programme

Grade 12 Student Writer Chronicles Journey to Falling in Love with the IB Diploma Programme

WAB’s longstanding student magazine has launched its Winter 2023 Issue, which means readers can now indulge in a new student-written story on Inkblot’s WeChat platform every day.

This week, we’re sharing an article that was posted in the student magazine recently and written by Inkblot’s Editor-in-Chief Zoe. The article offers an honest, personal account of Zoe’s worries going in to the IB Diploma Program having heard many things from older friends, and how the reality actually surprised her in the best of ways. We hope you enjoy the story!

Make sure to scan Inkblot’s QR code to follow their account and read all of the stories.

“The Struggles of Falling in Love with the IB” by Zoe M.

The IB is crazy hard. Everyone knows that. And when it’s coupled with the insanity that is finding out who we are, what we want to study, how to deal with our lives as international students...it’s hectic to say the least. 

As a teacher kid, I’ve grown up surrounded by other teacher kids, who I consider to be a part of my family. A lot of these other kids were a year or two older than me, and every year I got to hear how hard the next year of school was going to be, how I wasn’t going to be able to handle it, how there’s such a big gap between one year and the next. 

I’ve always been someone who has loved school and learning, and because of that I usually found that the things these people were telling me weren’t entirely true. Of course, as I got older, the classes and assignments got harder, and I found that I was enjoying things less and focusing more on hard work and grades. 

A photo from last year’s performance of The Old Man and The Old Moon

When I got to tenth grade, with Personal Project deadlines looming and course selection creeping up, I was told all the same things I had been told my whole life. Except this time it wasn’t only from the other teacher kids I had grown up with … everyone was telling me these things. I was told horror stories day after day about how hard the IB was, and how I was setting myself up for a hellish two years because of the courses I was choosing. 

It was pretty terrifying. I didn’t know how I was going to survive it if some of the smartest, most hardworking people I knew were telling me how awful it was. And so I started eleventh grade with my heart in my throat and a built-up wall of fear. 

Zoe, Anouk and TianTian (last year’s Editor-in-Chief) on the HS bridge

And honestly? All those people were partly right. The IB is hard. My courses arechallenging and exhausting. The past year and a half has been filled with sleepless nights and stressed out breakdowns. It’s been filled with balancing work and CAS and the remnants of a social life that I like to pretend I still have (or even had in the first place). It is every bit as stressful and challenging as they all told me it would be. 

But at the same time it’s been one of the most fascinating experiences I’ve ever had. It’s been staying up late reading ahead in textbooks because the content blows my mind. It’s the pure excitement I feel when topics overlap in my classes, when I can bring knowledge from one class to another. It’s the feeling of relief when I realize I can confirm that the things I thought I wanted to study, the things I want to continue learning about for the rest of my life, are the things that truly make me giddy with excitement. 

Zoe and Seb, another Inkblot writer, in their Biology class

I never thought that a course so notorious for being horrific and even detrimental to the mental health of some students could be so … fun. I think there’s a real lesson to be learnt through all this. No matter how hard the IB is, and how much it’ll throw you for a loop because, wow, it totally will, there will be always parts of it that will feel incredible if you look for them. And regardless of the fact that it’ll knock you down and push you to your limits sometimes, it’s something that I’ve realized I love.

So, yeah, the IB is crazy hard. But what everyone doesn’t know is that it doesn’t have to only be hard, it can also be fantastic.

Zoe and some friends about to take their senior portraits