IB Diploma, it sounds scary when you first hear it. An international diploma program, similar to the AP, that guides your coursework. Sounds to me like a lot of work. Well, I took the plunge and junior year of high school I started the track toward an IB Diploma. I'm sure everyone who took part in the IB Diploma program regretted it at a point or two. Your guidance counselors, teachers, and parents all encouraged you to do it because it was the most rigorous course load and it would help you in college. I didn't believe it back in high school, but one month into college, I already see how it has helped me.

1. Writing

Each IB class will incorporate some form of writing, whether that be a standard english paper, science lab write up, or the extended essay. There is no avoiding writing. All we do is write. Each class helps build up your writing skills in some way. In college, we do a lot of writing, too. Freshman seminars involve writing essays while other classes have projects and writing assignments all the time. It didn't seem like a big deal to me thanks to all of the writing I did for the IB.

2. Public Speaking

Something else the IB puts a big emphasis on is speaking. We had to do a ton of speaking for our english and language classes for the IB and for exams we got recorded. Public speaking is terrifying for some people, so getting experience with it in high school is great preparation for college. After doing a report in one of my classes, I felt very confident speaking and my friend even commented on how well I presented myself. I guess practice does make perfect.

3. Multiple Perspectives

TOK preaches the idea of thinking from multiple perspectives. This relates back to ways of knowing and areas of knowledge; how do we know what we know? In college, being asked how I know something takes be back to TOK and multiple perspectives. I'm actually extremely thankful for having to think this way, otherwise I would be lost when my professors asked abstract questions to me.

4. Homework

The amount of homework I had junior and senior year of high school was absurd. A majority of class time was spent reviewing and then we went home with piles of work to do for the next day. In college I am taking half as many classes that are every other day. This makes my life so much easier in terms of getting my homework done on time. While the homework might be harder and take longer, being organized and having more time to get it done helps a lot!

5. Essays

You had to expect that college would require you to write more than a few essays. I could go weeks without taking a test, but no more than a week without some sort of essay. The same goes for high school. It goes along with the writing practice. It just helps to be prepared. Having written dozens of essays for my classes and my IB exams, coming into college and having an essay due the first week didn't surprise me much. The TOK essays and extended essays

Thanks IB, you really helped me out!