Now that I’m done all my exams and am fairly confident I’ve passed high school, I’d like to reflect on the experience. It’s been a sad past couple of days, knowing the security of a great lifestyle is going to change drastically in a couple months. So this one’s an ode to the three best years of my life.
It really was that. High school was, without a doubt, the most fun experience I’ve ever had. I used to be sceptical when teachers in junior high said high school would be better, because I thought junior high was pretty fun. Was I ever wrong – it was put to shame by high school. A combination of interesting classes, better teachers, and the best friends I could ask for made high school the best time of my life. (On a sidenote, I’ll make a post soon dedicated to my friends – this one will stick to everything else.)
It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but one with a lot more highs than lows. There are some things I wish I did, though – skipped a class, slept in class, winged a test…well, at least I’m a good student right? But seriously, high school changed my life. I learned in my favorite classes what I’m passionate about, and I hope that goes a long way for me. I not only learned new material, but how to be a good student, how to be successful, and how to communicate and work with people. It’s been a massively beneficial experience for me.
I’ve grown a lot in the past three years. The experiences I’ve had during high school have really shaped me as a person. I’ve been in a lot of circumstances I never thought I’d be in growing up. For example, I thought parties and booze were a myth, or only for popular jocks. But it’s real, and to my great surprise, I was invited more than once to join in (I haven’t done anything stupid, or even had a drink yet). But it goes to show that high school really saw me encounter new situations, and I think I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot from them. I’m really going to miss high school.
High school was great. I’ll shatter a myth, one that seems like a big deal in junior high. It’s a lie that high school is much, much, much MUCH MUCH harder than junior high. It just isn’t. In fact, with the exception of a single course, I thought grade 10 was easier than junior high school. If you don’t procrastinate (a big if for many, it seems), high school should honestly be a breeze.
As you know, I took the IB program (partial, I’m not stupid). Do I ever have a lot to say about it. Firstly, I’m glad I took it. It was in my IB classes where I made my best friends, and learned a lot of material while being introduced to subjects I love. The relationships you develop in IB are much tighter than the ones you would otherwise develop, I think. It really is a lot of fun, but it’s challenging. I did say high school was easy – I think it’d be laughably so if you didn’t take IB. IB makes it difficult, and that adds to the experience.
I’ll shatter another myth, this one about the IB. There’s a lot of preconceived notions that IB is out-of-this-world difficult, that only nerds do it, that you better be damn smart if you’re doing it, that you need to put up all-nighters every night, that you’ll have no social life. None of it is true. Again, if you can manage your time, IB really isn’t that bad. I, for one, never stayed up later than midnight doing homework, and this was a very rare occurence – I think it only happened twice to me. So no, you’re not kissing your nights goodbye by doing IB. I’ve already said that IB helps make great friends – so I don’t see where the “no social life” rumor originates. And you don’t need to be a genius to do IB, you just need to be hardworking. I know a lot of very intelligent people, and other people who aren’t as talented do just as well as them in IB. Honestly, I can’t say it more simply; if you work hard and don’t procrastinate, IB is NOT difficult. I really would recommend doing it, because you learn a lot of cool stuff you wouldn’t otherwise learn, you develop great friendships, and because it should be a good idea of what’s in store in university. It is not a bad program.
That’s not to say IB is perfect. Far from it. There are a lot of things I’ve come to dislike with sincere indignance over the past three years. The marking system for one. Grades should not be out of 6 or 7, because it doesn’t take much to see marks plummet. It amazes me that labs are out of 6 – you make two little, tiny mistakes, and you’re down to 67%. The grading system needs to improve. CAS is the most stupid thing IB entails – forcing students to volunteer, why call it volunteering then? Anyone looking to get a laugh out of an IB class need only read the CAS requirements/aims to the class – well-rounded risk taker, develop an appreciation for ethics and the environment, engage in issues of global importance? The students are ages 15-18; while the goals may be admirable, 99% of teenagers don’t give a damn about any of the stuff IB aims to implement into students. Honestly, CAS is a chore – a lot of students bullshit their way through it (I’ll happily report that I wasn’t one of them), but that brings up a point; when students would rather lie about something than actually do it, you’ve got a flawed system. Another thing I hate about IB are the IB exams. They are dreadful. Exams shouldn’t determine your entire grade, but in IB they do – and it doesn’t help that it’s a grade out of 7. And if you must have exams, must they all be handwritten and timed? When the hell will you need to be able to write 3 essays in two and a half hours? Stupid, stupid, stupid – IB exams have not been well thought out. Finally, universities need to give students in partial IB the same recognition as the students in full IB, because otherwise the students who suffered through it see hardly any benefits from universities – IB needs to be better represented in that area.
IB isn’t perfect, that’s easy to say. It isn’t a bad program, but it isn’t as good as it could be. High school, on the other hand (at least for me) was better than it could ever have been in my dreams. I lucked out to some extent having some really easy and chill teachers, so that really made my experience a lot of fun. I can’t say enough about the time I had in high school – unquestionably the best three years of my life. Jesus, I’m going to miss it a lot down the road. So, so much.