Frenemies with the IBDP

Am I stressed with my work and assignments? Absolutely, but is it enough to make me feel dejected? No. When I joined Woodstock in August 2020, I had no experience with the IBDP. It was an overwhelming transition to be in the IB after being under the Cambridge curriculum for seven years, but a relative advantage was the academic intensity remaining consistent.

The IB programme is certainly rigorous due to its regular summative and formative assessments. Although, I think the IAs and extended essays easily take up more than half of the plate. I think I can speak for most students and myself when I say it is mainly not the issue of how to write them but how to make it distinct from the rest. 

Furthermore, the concept of online distance learning milieu has altered my perspective on IB. It may seem more exacting being present, prepared, and perceptive in front of a screen for several hours. The fact that school has been brought into my home adds fuel to the fire. My impression of a home is a place affiliated with personal wellbeing, self-reflection, and detachment from any sort of a workplace. Hence, interweaving two different segments of a spectrum-like life hinders my ability to be optimal for both school and home. 

However, I have come to realize how the IB programme has made me more aware of not just my academic statistics, but the state of affairs across the world. I have seen numerous people in their 11th and 12th grades with their heads stuck in the pages of countless books with no cognizance of the circumstances surrounding them. The IBDP incorporates world affairs into its assessments allowing me to delve deep into certain issues which brings forth my opinion into my work. This system of teaching is likely to favor me in both college and the career I aim to pursue as I will be able to connect my principles and perception of information into the job.

The aspect of IB that intrigues me most would be how TOK is integrated into every subject, and I can still understand its inclusion regardless of my dexterity. It sparks curiosity and wonder which makes me question reality and being to its existence. It has shed new light on the importance of demanding myself to research the quiddity of objects, subjects, and even people.

Even though most of the components of IB mentioned above are research based implying that we still have to face a book or screen to gather knowledge, the CAS is one portion where I feel that I can abandon my computer and perform physical activities as undemanding as baking, swimming, or gardening. The act of service in CAS highlights the importance of aid to the unfortunate in my community and contribution to the environment. This has personally brought me closer to nature which has become a form of meditation.

In due course, I plan to get used to the IB Diploma Programme and be well on my way on the road to graduation. Till then, will it be a walk-in-the-park? No. Will I keep moving forward? Yes.

Bishalakshmi Bagchi is a staff reporter.

Edited by Ira Ahuja.

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