The IB Diploma might not be worth the hype

The IB Diploma might not be worth the hype

Lexi Doll, Staff Writer

The International Baccalaureate Diploma, aka the IB Diploma, is a two year program offered at Northern as well as other schools all around the world that offers a higher, more challenging education.

This program is quite popular at PN even considering how mentally and emotionally draining it seems to be.  IB students tend to have absolutely no free time outside of school and homework, which causes them to lose the opportunity to have a normal high school experience.  School is already stressful enough, but throwing in classes that take up your whole life just to figure out one problem is quite a waste of time.  Taking the diploma also causes the student to not be able to choose their schedule.  With the certain amount of higher level and standard level IB classes that need to be taken, it is almost impossible to take classes you actually want to take.  The IB Diploma is a colossal waste of time and causes extreme unnecessary stress that disrupts your years as a teenager.  

Senior Lexie Coon says, “I personally think the diploma isn’t worth what the school stresses it is.  Sure, it has some good aspects like earning college credit and preparing yourself for college courses, but most schools don’t accept less than a 5 on an IB exam for credit, and with all the different components going into what the scores are composed of, it’s hard to get.” Coon was a full diploma candidate and decided to drop because she felt it wasn’t worth it.  “By dropping, it freed up room in my schedule to dual enroll and take classes at KVCC, which basically gives me free college credit, that I don’t have to pay $100 to take tests for,” says Coon.

The diploma almost forces students to give up their social lives and stresses their mental health.  “I wanted to be able to see my friends and maintain a healthy life without being overpowered by schoolwork and honestly I just didn’t want to do it”, says junior Megan Pryor.  There has been plenty of research showing that the stress levels in IB student is significantly higher than those who don’t take the diploma.  But even without the research it is obvious that these students are practicing an unhealthy way of life.  Too many people believe that if you aren’t through the roof stressed out with school at all times then you’re not trying hard enough.  This should not be the case.  Students should be able to come to school and not feel like their whole future depends on their IB chemistry grade.  

Some students do find the rigorous program to be very helpful.  Senior Sarah Price says, “You learn discipline, work ethic and determination.  Although it is definitely challenging and time consuming, it helps with managing your priorities and responsibilities. I see so many benefits and it has truly made me a better student.”  For many, however, the alleged benefits will not be worth the time and stress knowing that they entail hours and hours of work put into something that you might not even end up being eligible for in the end.

Yes, high school is supposed to prepare you for college and for the real world, but high school is also supposed to be some of the most fun years of your life and a piece of paper shouldn’t be the thing that destroys that.