This year, my main goal is to reach a level 10 for well-balanced (which will be hard to do because there will be a lot going on this year) and reach a level 9 for Risk-Taker. My main goal is going to be my Extended Essay and IB exams. I’m grateful for having Mr. Kosawan as my mentor. He’s strict but I know if I’m going to ace this essay, it’s going to be with the partnership of him. My topic is on the Russian Revolution. Recently, I found out how difficult it is to develop a 4000-word essay from scratch.
This year, I want to be able to keep my marks as high as possible and explore ways that I can stop being insecure and become more responsible. I’m going to try my hardest because I want to get into McMaster. I want to achieve high enough marks to go to McMaster and maybe have a chance in living in New York City one day.
I want to be able to accomplish some of my personal goals which I haven’t done in the past year. I want to be able to complete the story that I have been writing for the past 4 years…it’s also been on hiatus for the past year and a half. I want to learn more about my interests. I want to travel and I want to be able to look back at my final year of high school and my final year of IB as an experience that has impacted my life in a positive manner.
I want to look back at this year and say that I did something with my life and I did something that will help me in the future.
Shanza Jamshed, Life Sciences: Biochemistry (Co-op) @ University of Waterloo
This year was a lot harder than all other years of IB, and not because of the work-load or difficulty of the curriculum, but because I wasn’t able to balance myself properly. I often felt I had low-energy, and wasn’t getting enough sleep. I was also dedicating a lot of my time to the things I was doing outside of school, and as beneficial as they were, I really should have prioritized school to the max and made sure I was meeting the standards I had set for myself. However because of this failure, I learned a lot more than I have over all my years of high school: I’ve been more reflective of my decisions, and understand how I work and operate much better. I’ve learned how to pick myself up and keep persevering when things got difficult, and how to truly balance my time. I am now able to prioritize things more efficiently and stick to my deadlines, working harder than ever to accomplish my goals. This has allowed me to become much more well-balanced and regain my principals.
Nazra Noushad, Computer Science at University of Toronto
My participation in the IB diploma programme has strengthened my overall character by becoming an internationally-minded individual. From my academics to my participation in the completion of CAS, my personal traits have strengthened over the past 2 years. I have taken on more leadership roles than I thought I was capable of. By becoming more of a risk taker, it has definitely shaped my high school experience. My participation in different initiatives outside of my academics such as teams and clubs has made me a more well-rounded individual. In terms of the academic component of IB, I have learned to take on different perspectives when approaching situations, thanks to the core component of TOK in all its aspects. My thinking, inquiry and knowledgeable skills have reached its maximum as the courses of IB has helped me strengthen all these skills. From the sciences to math to the languages, I am happy to say that the skills and knowledge I have developed and learned will be crucial in my future. Overall, I am proud of the person I have become thanks to the IB programme pushing to not only think outside the box and reach beyond my comfort level but become well prepared for my post-secondary academic pursuits.
Kristen Phan, Accounting & Financial Management Co-Op @ the University of Waterloo
As a senior student reaching the finale of his studies, I believe that becomes a more well-balanced, principled, knowledgeable and reflective individual this year. Academically, the rigorous HL chemistry has trained me to balance a much larger work-load with my extra-curricular pursuits, thereby ameliorating my time-management skills. I have suffered many hardships with regards to my average due to the heightened intensity of my courses. These failures caused me to reflect on and understand the limitations of my natural intellect. Thus, I learned that academic success at a higher level requires hard-work in the form of studying and asking for help. Through learning the complexities of HL English and TOK, and the global perspective I attained in HL economics, I have also a more critical thinker. As a result of the academic component of IB. I am now equipped to face greater challenges beyond the academic context and approach them with a global perspective and a critical mind.
Dean Ponce, Smith School of Business @ Queen’s University
Upon nearing the completion of my second year in the IB programme, I believe that I have been equipped with the skills needed to propel myself towards greater success. Developing and incorporating elements of the IB Learner Profile into my life, such as being well-balanced, reflective and open-minded, has allowed me to experience tremendous growth and success, as these were elements with which I had struggled the most in my first year. Having improved upon these facets, I can assert that I am a more capable individual now than I have ever been before.
Kabishan Suvendran, Engineering @ McMaster University
CAS has taught me how to manage my time so much more efficiently as well as how to take risks and do things out of my comfort zone. Through learning about time management, I have been able to take on new projects and hobbies while still maintaining my grades. IB has also encouraged me to learn new study habits that I intent to use throughout the university. The CAS reflections I’ve done have made me so much more observant of everything I do and made me learn how to improve myself by simply recognizing and reflecting upon what I do. IB has also made me a much better inquirer and I’ve learned to ask, “Why?” to everything I learn, in order to make me a more knowledgeable and well-rounded individual.
Sewit Tewelde, Life Sciences @ University of Toronto
"I think that IB has been really influential in terms of my life in general; it has increased my confidence in who I am as a person, not only with the small, really supportive community that IB fosters here at Laurier, but also the other activities such as CAS. It really tries to get you involved not only in your school community but also with your local community and the world as a whole. IB also really helped me with university, not only with the transfer credits that help reduce the workload within first-year university classes but also as it helps you prepare for the amount of work that is required for university. It teaches you skills like how to study, how to time mange, and I think it would be a great opportunity for other students to really learn those skills, to help prepare them for the future."
Megan, Business @ University of Toronto Rotman School of Management, (Laurier IB Class of 2013)
"I recommend you choose the Laurier IB program because you are surrounded by such amazing students, and that's one of the reasons I decided to stay. A lot of students really love the experience they gain from IB because you are surrounded by such great students, and such great people, that you ... gain so much valuable experience as a human being and so much maturity, and that's why I recommend it to you."
Anuj, Economics @ University of Western Ontario, (Laurier IB Class of 2013)
"I think the IB program has helped me a lot for many reasons. First of all, I am academically ahead because of the things we've covered in the IB program that that academic program didn't cover, so my first semester of university was more like a review. Also, I feel like I've learned a lot of skills, like time management and discipline and all those IB key words. Honestly, I'm really glad I chose the IB program, and I think you should choose it because helps you develop habits you want for the rest of your life, and it helps you become successful."
Kezia, Life Sciences @ University of Toronto, (Laurier IB Class of 2013)
"I feel like the IB program has helped me develop my team work skills... it put me in an environment where I sat down with people who were not necessarily smarter, but they were striving for the best, and in the end, you're left with a group of people that become so close over the number of years you have shared in the program together., You've worked together for countless hours, and completed all these rigorous tasks, and all in all it's really rewarding, because my transition into university was really easy, I don't think it's much of a step up from the workload from IB. I feel like uni only needs you to manage your time really well but IB forces you to do that anyway, so I feel like or anyone coming into IB, it's a great step towards having a great life at university."
Vithushon, Biological Sciences @ McGill University, (Laurier IB Class of 2013)
"IB is an amazing program, and it provided such great work experience and a lot of motivation, the type of motivation you need in university. Also it gives you those transfer credits that save you in first year because it helps you boost your mark. Choose IB for the long run; it might be more work throughout high school but it pays off."
Tasfia, Life Sciences @ University of Toronto, (Laurier IB Class of 2013)
"I have found my time in the I.B. program to be very enjoyable and successful. I enjoy most the atmosphere in all of our classrooms and among our students of pure focus and drive. My greatest success so far has been my results of the May 2012 exams. I was thrilled to see that my hard work had paid off with a level 7 on the Math exam. I feel that my greatest challenge has been writing my extended essay. However, although it’s been a long journey, I’ve found it to be very rewarding and educational."
Hamza, BBA @ Schulich, York University, (Laurier IB Class of 2013)
"The I.B. program has been taken me on quite a ride, so to speak. My biggest success thus far hasbeen the development of my aptitude to speak the French language. I am by no means fluent, buttake pride in the progress I have made over the last three years. The class atmosphere was oneconducive to learning and has ignited a desire for me to continue studying this language in postsecondary school. My greatest challenge has been maintaining my impulse to work hard, and consistently so. The May 2012 exam results are a testimony not only to the capacity of the students here at Laurier, but to the staff for their ongoing support and passion to enlighten. "
Mariba, Specialist in International Development Studies Co-op and major in Economics @ University of Toronto, (Laurier IB Class of 2013)
"I cannot imagine my high school experience without I.B.. The I.B. program has shaped my academic life for the better. I love the I.B. program so far and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year brings! I feel that the greatest successes in my experience are creating a diverse and active environment around me and in my community through the CAS program which has allowed me to experience events and activities that I never would have tried outside the I.B. program. A few examples are the Goodlife Teen Fitness Program, The Race for Dignity and the Bollywood dance group. However, I have been challenged to take risks and try completely new things. Through I.B., I have become more of a risk-taking and outgoing individual."
Kezia, Life Sceiences @ University of Toronto, (Laurier IB Class 2013)
"I am finding the I.B. programme to be an exciting challenge. Though at times it can be very tough, what with trying to balance extra-curriculars with a large workload, I feel the programme truly encourages me to challenge myself so that I can gain the skills necessary for later in my academic career. My biggest success so far was performing and helping out with the I.B. done dinner. My biggest challenge has been adjusting to the increasing workload. Looking at the Laurier May 2012 I.B. Exam results, and seeing that we are above the world average in every single subject, I feel proud to be an I.B. student at Laurier as these results reflect the hard work and dedication of both the students and teachers at this school."
Kaitlyn, B.Sc. In Biology @ Mount Allison University, (Laurier IB Class of 2014)
"As a grade 12 I.B. student at Laurier, I can say that my participation in the program has definitely created a positive high school experience. The aspect of program that I enjoy the most is the close knit community that you develop with the fellow members of your cohort. Being a part of the I.B. community allows you to develop true friendships and have a network of people that you can rely on when it comes to academics, everyone is willing to help you out and support each other during those crazy exam times! Once grade 11 rolls around and the CAS program starts, it pushes you to try new things. For me I needed that push, and once I was involved within the school through Me to We and in the community at the public library all I could think about was how much I had missed out on during the past two years."
Ashley, Double Major in Human Biology and Psychology (Life Sciences), University of Toronto, (Laurier IB Class of 2013)
"Basically, I was the IB kid who juggled a life an intense IB work, sports, social activities and fun. Although living this sort of life within the rigorous program sounds fictitious, it is a possibility that I, my colleagues and my teachers can attest to. If I could describe the programme in one phrase it would be “You’ve got what it takes, but it’s gonna take all you’ve got.” That was essentially what the program was all about. For me as an individual, it helped me give up certain characteristics and in exchange dig deep to tap into talents and skills within and outside of the classroom setting. Some of these skills, which have already been of great benefit in University, range from the ability to realize your true potential at a particular subject (you never know how good you are until you take on a two-weeks assignment in just one night); to the ability to function at your lowestcondition (i.e. functioning with minimal sleep). Furthermore, during my experience as a member of the most successful cohort thus far, I made friends with classmates and teachers that became family; and completed my CAS requirements with activities such as student council, sports teams, Volunteer Now, Race for dignity, Big brothers and Sisters on Toronto; and last but not least a Bhangra dance! (There’s nothing cooler than an African performing a dance of Indian decent). If I were to go on writing about the “fun” moments, I had during my time in the program, I might end up writing my second extended essay. Even though I’m sad the experience is over, I will be forever grateful that it happened and I was fortunate to be a part of it."
Babatope, B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto, (Laurier IB Class of 2012)
"The IB programme was a tremendous experience for me. As a first year student, I can definitely assure you that this program prepares you very well for university. Thanks to CAS, I am able to balance my academics along with work and volunteering. In addition, much of the IB curriculum overlaps with the topics we cover in lectures. The familiarity of the subject matter definitely made the transition from high school to university easier. (HL chemistry has helped me enormously!) The most important thing that I have gained from being in this programme is learning how to manage time and how to balance. Thanks to IB, I can manage the heavy workload and still gain a wonderful first year university experience!"
Swana, Neuroscience Specialist @ University of Toronto, (Laurier IB Class of 2012)
"Beginning university, especially living on residence, was not something that initially excited me. Regardless, I’ve adapted very quickly to the lifestyle and the expectations of professors. Some of the great skills I learned as an IB student are accountable for this smooth transition. In the Centre of the Hexagon, I developed the ability to reflect on a concept or experience, connect it to another concept, and extend on the relationship between the two, generating new knowledge. This skill is very important at the university level because, in my experience, professors and students always look to discover new perspectives on issues, how everything can intertwine. I’m currently takingcourses which I didn’t get a chance to take in the IB programme, such as politics, Italian studies, and drama. Yet, I’m surprised at how useful TOK has become in these courses, even in first year Drama. I’ve developed a strong opinion that TOK is at the centre of theatre arts because theatre is a form of expression that generates knowledge in an abundance of ways. I find it truly amazing where I can apply the skills I’ve learned as an IB student, now that I’m an alumnus. In all honesty, during the IB Programme itself, I pondered the future use of virtually everything I learned, but the learning skills are definitely the most useful tools with which the programme has provided me to guide me through this important part of life."
Vithushon, (Laurier IB Class of 2011)
“The International Baccalaureate Program is an excellent program that shapes students to become well-rounded, as it changes the way we think. Before enrolling in this program, it was difficult for me to think ‘outside the box,’ however through the various skills and techniques I acquired, I learned to think extensively and critically. The TOK aspect especially helped me to question everything and analyze situations in different perspectives. It helped me sharpen my skills and knowledge and most importantly I made strong friendships with everyone in my cohort. We all worked together as a team by helping each other out by making this vigorous program an enjoyable process. I now have a huge advantage in university, because I already learned most of the concepts from the six I.B. subjects. In addition, I am not overwhelmed by the huge amount of workload and tests like other university students, because this program taught me to use my time efficiently and effectively. I am able to balance both my academic and social life as I joined many clubs and become an executive member in my school’s charity group. The International Baccalaureate Program has benefited me in ways that I have never thought of and it is making university an enjoyable learning experience.”
Subanki, (Laurier IB Class of 2011)
“IB prepared me for university, it really did. Especially in a competitive business school such as Schulich, having IB backing me up really gave me a confidence boost. Not to mention the $1500 I saved on tuition because Schulich gave me 2 transfer credits! IB created a learning environment and system that forced me to be disciplined and allowed me to develop my own learning style. I thank IB for giving me all the tools I need for university and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to do their best, doesn’t believe in mediocrity and wants to reach their full potential!”
Julia, (Laurier IB Class of 2011)
“The IB program has certainly been one of the most interesting experiences of my life. It has pushed me time and time again to be the best I can be. From the material covered in class to the more hands-on parts of IB including CAS, each component has helped me discover something about myself. The part about IB I've found the most fascinating is CAS, because it allowed me to help give back to community, and also help myself in discovering my own strengths and weaknesses. This is why the IB program was important to me.”
Archit, (Laurier IB Class of 2011)
“Having earned the IB Diploma, I am now benefiting in a multitude of ways from the education I received. Not only do I feel fully prepared for all my first year courses, I also feel prepared for a second year course I elected to take. Though my classmates are worried about the wording of essay questions, or the length of papers I feel comfortable. TOK has given me the necessary skills for more abstract concept papers, and the experience of writing my Extended Essay means that I am ready for any paper university throws at me. I think the most important skill I gained from IB was time management- I now enjoy a healthy schedule of lectures, tutorials, extracurricular involvement, friends, and a part-time job. In IB I learned not to leave things to the last minuteand am glad I did! IB also forced me to become more independent, and responsible for my ownlearning, much like university. I had an easy transition from high school, and know I have IB to thank! I am so glad to be at Trinity College at the University of Toronto, surrounded by other academically driven individuals. The IB is an invaluable program that I recommend to all who are up for the challenge of a dynamic, holistic program.”
Alanna, (Laurier IB Class of 2011)
“Participating in the IB Diploma Programme, in my eyes, was one of the most rewarding and definitely most helpful decisions I've ever made. Now, 3 months into my university career, I feel like the program itself contributed greatly to my successes. For one, participating in the IB HL English course was so important in honing my writing and analysis skills. This year, I am taking many writing intensive courses that require in-depth analysis and commentary - exactly what we did in IB! As a result, I've been doing extremely well in my classes (above 95 on all my writing midterms), even in upper year courses and professors have even commented on some of my papers. I owe all of that to the IB English Program and Mr. Brown and Mrs. Maxwell! Also, participating in CAS and TOK has opened up my eyes to so much of the things that go around campus. I'm confident in promoting events and taking on leadership roles, through my involvement with CAS and TOK last year and as a result I'm now the youngest member of the campus Tamil Students Association. I also get to put my art skills to use because I’m the executive member of promotions, crating all sorts of promotional and advertising material for the TSA so yay Ms. Ravenhurst and IB Art as well! University is a lot of work, especially with all of these extra commitments but I think IB was integral in making me confident and open to all the things academia has to offer. I go out and do new things every day, and IB really helped me develop my sense of curiosity. In fact, I was interviewed today as part of a study by a think-tank about how different cultures interact on campus, in the perspective of really involved student members of the U of T and much of the answers I gave were similar to the reflections and thinking we had to do as part of the program, dealing not just with academics but the development of the individual as a whole. Thus, IB I think played a huge role in how I turned out at the end of high school and how I am today, and for that I think it was definitely worth it!”
Archana, (Laurier IB Class of 2011)
“The IB program prepared me well for university in that now I am prepared for the workload. I would recommend this program to any hardworking and dedicated students who are seeking a challenge. This program helps to develop critical time management skills. It's a great program if you're willing to work hard!”
Jinnah, (Laurier IB Class of 2011)
“When I first stepped into the IB programme, I had no idea as to how it’ll change me and basically create a great impact in my academic life. As all students I was very intimidated by the thought of all the work needed to be done in the programme. However, now that I look back, the past 4 years have definitely been the most life changing years of my life. Going through the IB programme has taught me how to handle stress well (this is a huge one considering all the essays, presentations, portfolios needed to be done with due dates all close together). Through the CAS component I learned how to be a well-rounded student. The act of balancing the academic and social life is areally useful skill that can not only be used in our University years but also in our work life, family life, etc. The IB programme has also taught me to view the world in different perspectives and this is through IB English. Even though I felt English was an unnecessary course, at the end of it I felt as if it transformed my perspective into something it was never before. The literature taught in this course will definitely not be a one-time lesson. It’ll be a lesson where you keep returning to it and also apply it to the world as a whole. Also the essay skills you achieve in this programme (through IB English, EE and TOK) are definitely very useful, especially transitioning to University life. I must say I was very shocked to know that a number of first-year students in my University do not know how to do proper citation or form proper arguments. In those perspectives I must say I was lucky to learn the appropriate essay skills from this programme. Another perspective that has also contributed to my growth is the classroom environment and the bonds we formed with our teachers. Sure at times we were loud and probably got on our teachers’ nerves but at the end, they helped us get through this programme successfully. I would say that yes, thanks to the IB programme I have gone through a great transformation academically and personally but at the same time it wouldn’t have been possible without my IB teachers and coordinator along with my IB classmates, they definitely made IB an enjoyable and memorable experience.”
Sharda, (Laurier IB Class of 2011)
“The IB Diploma Programme has certainly been one of the most unforgettable and enriching moments of my life. In my four years of IB, I have gained a multitude of auspicious skills and valuable knowledge that I advantageously apply in university today. Not only did the program effectively improve my studying and time-management abilities, it has prepared me to adjust with the heavier workload that is expected in all post-secondary studies. Aside from forming erudite and well-balanced students, this program has benefited me in ways that extend beyond the limits of the academic classroom. One of the many special features of the IB program is that it places a heavy emphasis on critical and objective thinking, such that it hones the traits of open-mindedness and impartiality. The value of all the great experiences and insight I have gained from this program is truly immeasurable, as it has heavily contributed to both my academic and personal growth.”
Catherine, (Laurier IB Class of 2011)