Q&A with past and present IB Diploma students

You’ve heard it a million times. “IB sucks.” “Don’t do it because it’s so much work.” “CAS hours are so annoying.” Or you’ve heard—”IB is hard, but worth it.” “You learn time management.” “It boosts your GPA.” But how do you know whose opinion to trust? In the following Q&A, past and present IB Diploma students discuss their opinion on the IB Diploma.

Beatrice Bugos, Feature Editor

Jared Peterson, senior

Q: What was hard about the Diploma?

A:“In my first semester of senior year getting all the [Internal Assessments] for every class together alongside college essays and applications stressed me out to the extent that I might have started developing depression of some sort. Although I haven’t been officially diagnosed, I think the stress [from] all the aspects of the IB Diploma adds up eventually.”


Carmen Vescia, 2016 graduate

Q: Do you think it was worth it?

A:“Yes, it was worth it. It was a nice sense of accomplishment. I felt like I learned a lot, gained a lot of skills. I think it taught me how to be a student who can manage a lot of different things at once. I don’t know this for sure yet, but [after my gap year,] when I start college, I hope that the experience [will have] prepared me to make the most of college and really enjoy it because I’ll have the skills I need.”


Ryan Reed, junior

Q: Would you recommend it so far?

A:“If you’re not ready to work really hard, then no. If you’re willing to work hard and just really push yourself to the limit, then it can give you a lot of rewards — not just in terms of GPA but [also from] doing the Extended Essay, too.”


Lauren Cresta, junior  

Q: Do you think the IB Diploma is worth it?

A: “Honestly, no. I think IB classes matter, and you should try to work in as many IB classes [as] you can because that will show four-year colleges that you’re competitive. But for me, no, because I regret it [and] miss having a little more free time than I do now.”


Nell Owens, senior

Q: How would you describe IB life?

A: “IB life is a mess. The whole key is looking like you know what you’re doing. I started dressing better this year because I feel if I look like I know what I’m doing, then I feel more put together, and I feel more calm.”


Daniel Jude, 2012 graduate

Q: Do you have any advice for students taking the Diploma or thinking about taking it?

A: “My only piece of advice is to not look at the amount of work as a mountain, but to look at it piece by piece. Everything in life will give you more work and less time. It’s pretty rigorous for high school, [but] a lot of people get it done.”