IB challenges first-years to see education in a new light

by Ashleigh Higgs, Features

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As the year draws to a close, we reflect upon the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the year, and not many students have seen as much of the complete spectrum as Spring Lake’s first year International Baccalaureate diploma students. These students went blindly into this program at the beginning of the year and have been through absurd scheduling of classes, CAS hours, Extended Essay pressure, endless homework, and one IB Psychology Exam.

IB World School Logo

IB World School Logo

The IB program has many aspects to it. The first and largest being the classes and exams that go with them. Students are required to take both higher level and standard level classes which differ in the length of the class. In addition to the classes, Diploma students must also complete 150 creative, active, and service hours outside of school, along with a 4,000 word essay due at the end of their senior year. These students are, of course, not your average students; they are overachievers so they have taken on many extracurricular activities as well.

“Even though there is a lot of stress and many deadlines to meet, you will be surrounded by other students as motivated and crazy as you are…. [they] will turn out to be some of the funniest and most influential people!” says IB Diploma student, Taylor Klein.

The IB classes target the way mainstream classes work, and change it to fit a new mold of student. There is less memorization and more analysis. Madison Terpstra said, “IB has made me see things in a different light. I’m questioning standards, limits, and occurrences that before could be written off as mundane.” Terpstra particularly mentioned the Theory of Knowledge class as one which changed her perspective on the world. Theory of Knowledge, or TOK, is a class which makes students think about the world in a new light. The class is based on theoretical questioning and different perceptions in new cultures.

Klein would like IB students next year to “get ready to work and have fun.” Calvin Frifeldt, another IB Diploma student, would recommend the program to “any student who has the dedication to push themselves through a highly rigorous schedule” but assures students that “the rewards for it are amazing.”

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