The Flame

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Life of Seniors in the DP

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For every enjoyable and amazing thing comes something worse and more unbearable. Being a high school senior is a prime example of this. It has its benefits: being the top dog in school, having access to the common room, and perhaps no longer suffering from social implications of moving up the ladder. However, the stress that is inflicted onto them is indeed more of a big deal. The source of this? The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP). I decided to ask our very own seniors what they think about the the DP and the journey they have gone through.

In the words of one of the students surveyed, the DP is “a rigorous program that extends over the course of two years,  highly regarded by many universities as it helps students be well rounded and critical thinkers” among other things. They mentioned that if you chose to take the DP you would have the additional Theory of Knowledge classes as well as the Extended Essay. “For the 10th graders who are now thinking of which classes they should choose, I highly recommend choosing the ones you are most passionate about as you will be devoting yourself to a class with two years worth of content. As well as with the EE, don’t choose something you think will give you the best marks – that’s not the point. Instead, choose something you’re willing to spend months and months on.”

In terms of their initial impressions of the DP, some were excited to start a new chapter of their life while others were very nervous because of all the dreadful things they heard. However, as the two DP years progressed, the students became evidently more comfortable and found the DP within their reach by staying on top of their work and being organized; time management was essential.

The students who were surveyed had different strategies to manage their own time. One student took an interesting approach by finishing her work AWAY from home. This was because she found procrastination lurking behind every wall and so took it upon herself to avoid it. Others finished simple tasks to fuel their motivation in order to complete more complicated assignments. For example, as one student responded, “I try to tackle the easy/straightforward stuff first. Passage reading for English or Chemistry Paper 1 questions for example. Then I feel like I’ve accomplished something and that motivates me to do more.” These are some things that current or soon-to-be DP students can consider as a strategy.

Sure there will be moments when the DP seems dreadful. After all, the DP offers no leniency towards things that are fun. But somehow these students found a silver lining in this dark cloud. Whether it is the improved writing skills because of the 58,489,274 essays, free periods (!) or even “mastering the art of falling asleep anywhere at anytime.” These students could find a way to make the best out of nothing. Despite having no experience with the DP (being a ninth grader), I must say that I find the art of sleeping anywhere quite enticing.

Indeed, all the hard work and effort our seniors have put will soon be worthy for college. The most important part of this all – graduation! Seniors I have to agree that life after graduation will be an exciting time – the first step into the real world. The blood, sweat, tears, and time put into completing this challenging point of time boils down to this. I would personally like to congratulate our seniors on the tremendous accomplishments they’ve put forth, and their worthy influence within the UNIS community will surely be missed. Good luck to the 11th graders who have already begun their DP journey and look to continue to follow these role models’ footsteps who will be leaving us.

To conclude, the DP may be a rigorous and time consuming program but this should never take away your passion and interests. While school may be your priority, you must ensure that you still continue your passions. It’s a simple way to relieve stress and once again feel some enjoyment. Personally, I find my family to be a reliable place to fall back on and I encourage everyone to be open and spend time with their families as much as they can. Learn from others who are already experienced with the DP. Ask for tips from the ones who have already tackled this challenge. Don’t give up! You’ll do just fine.

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