I know this post may not be relevant to a lot of you, but for those of you to whom this post is relevant, I think that this question is something we have all asked ourselves at one point or another.
On July 6th, 2012, I received my International Baccalaureate Diploma. For a few hours I felt extremely satisfied. All the bull I put up with in high school finally got me something that distinguished myself from people who just got the regular diploma/certificates. After the initial euphoria wore off, I began to think of things that took away from this accomplishment. For starters, I put in a hell of a lot more work into trying to get the diploma and I still ended up going to CU with a lot of people who didn’t give a shit in high school. I’m pretty sure I slept on average about 4 hours a night trying to keep up with Internal Assessments, Individual Oral Commentaries, the Extended Essay, etc. in addition to regular homework. For two years I’ve had to deal with the frustratingly vague markschemes, maintaing a world view, and theory of knowledge discussions that left me questioning everything (seriously, EVERYTHING)
After realizing all of that, I looked at it from another perspective; where would I be if I had not done the IB diploma? Asking myself this question led me to realize how much I valued the experience I had while in the IB program. Sure, I hated every IA that I ever had to do, but there was something oddly comforting about having the same shitty experience as the other 80 IB diploma candidates. Every night on Facebook before some big deadline, there were always posts complaining about the assignment. Never at any point during IB did I feel like I was the only one going through hell. You could even say that all the griping we did was fun and relieving (to an extent).
Would I do it all again? I would say yes, not for the same reason that I decided to do it as a freshmen. The academics, for the most part, sucked. The experience and all the people I met through the program, however, far outweigh the negatives.
Although this diploma says little of me other than that I might be a masochist, for me it is just a reminder of all the awesome people I had the pleasure of meeting in high school. For those of you who have also received the IB diploma, what does it mean to you?