As I am halfway through the second semester of my freshman year, I begin to reminisce about my high school days. It is crazy to think that graduation was almost a year ago. I felt nostalgic and began to miss my high school friends. For me, high school was a great experience. I was surrounded by teachers who continued to challenge me and classmates who motivated me.

I attended a public high school about ten minutes from my house. This was the place where I experienced dozens of ups and downs and some of the best moments of my childhood.

I can not talk about high school without talking about the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. I am lucky to be a part of this program.

The IB program definitely changed the way I study and the way I view the world. This program was equally as hard or if not more than AP. It was much more complicated and had much more requirements. In addition to exams in each subject, IB also required 75 CAS (community, activity, service) hours per year, an Extended Essay, and a TOK (theory of knowledge) class.

As a result of the many requirements, I often felt overwhelmed or stressed. I have to admit there were several times where I often questioned my decision to stay in IB because I could not handle it anymore. However, in the end, I was always happy that I did not give up this program. The rewards definitely outweighed the sacrifices. I feel very prepared for college.

I owe everything I learned in IB to my teachers. Because of my biology teacher, I was inspired to pursue a major in biology. As a result of my English teacher, I felt much more confident in writing and no longer feared the words “analyze” or “annotate”. My teachers challenged me and made it possible for me to reach my full potential. I am glad that I had to work hard to receive the grades I wanted. They are responsible for my work ethic and good study habits. I can not thank my teachers enough.

One important part of IB was the small class sizes. In each grade level, there were only about 60 kids. This meant that we were the only ones who understood what IB was really like. We celebrated each other’s achievements.

Most importantly, I am grateful to IB for introducing me to some of my closest friends. I would like to give a shout out to them for the countless laughs and good times. Some memories that I will treasure forever include: senior prom, senior breakfast, junior prom, my 18th birthday, and of course graduation. They are the reason why I loved high school as much I do. Even though we may not talk every day now, I know that they will always be there for me. Every time we are reunited over breaks, we catch up as if no time has passed at all.

IB was such a wonderful part of my life. Besides teaching me how to study efficiently and how to deal with all types of teachers, it taught me how to be my own voice. IB changed me for the better. I am excited to see how IB will continue to impact the next three years of college!