When I started high school, I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to be the best student I could be. I was first introduced to the International Baccalaureate Diploma program as a sophomore. Once I was told about the requirements, essays, and other mandatory assessments, I was beyond frightened. I thought to myself, There is no way I can do this. However, I had always been the student who needed a challenge when it came to academics—I always wanted to go further. Without being completely sure (and, frankly, after it was too late to change my schedule), I joined the IB family at Hillsboro, and it has proven to be the best academic decision I’ve made so far. The program has given me a foundation to grow on as I continue my journey after high school. During the very first week of classes, I learned that I can evolve as a person, learn in a different way, and still be in touch with the world around me. That moment is when I decided that the IB Diploma program was for me.
The IB courses are equally challenging, because I had to learn how to navigate in each class. Each time I learned something new, I tried to connect it to a different class. The most difficult class for me was Theory of Knowledge, a thought-provoking class that made me think in ways that I didn’t even know I was capable of. I had to learn what, exactly, knowledge is and how I use it. It has, indeed, been tough, but it is liberating to know that I can use my own mind to ask key questions and unlock the door to a better understanding of the world.
I have enjoyed every aspect of my quest in IB, from volunteer work to study sessions. I encourage anyone who is even the slightest bit interested in IB to go ahead and do it. Whenever I step into an IB classroom, I know that I am right where I am supposed to be. I appreciate the difficulty, the challenges, the rewards, and the opportunities that IB has given me.
July 26, 2012
My name is Quintarius (Quin) Elliot, and I am an IB senior at Hillsboro High School. Hillsboro is a very loving, diverse school, and we have tons of talented people in the school. The IB Diploma Programme includes high-rigor academic coursework, and it is very difficult; however, it is also designed to help students succeed! Teachers are here for students every day, and they are truly some of the most intelligent and compassionate individuals that I know. Coming into IB, I was terrified of the workload that the previous seniors spoke about and of the assessments, but my peers have always been there for me to encourage and motivate my success.
The classes in IB are very interesting, and it is easy to learn and apply your studies in life. My favorite class is Spanish because of the positive and comfortable learning environment and the content. It is interesting to learn how to speak Spanish while learning about Hispanic heritage. In this class, we also explored the difference between “Culture” and “culture.” Culture with an uppercase C is what one can easily observe from another culture (i.e., food, flags, clothing, etc.). Culture with a lowercase C is less evident; it is the beliefs and reasoning for a group of people. In order to analyze this difference, we read myths and short stories, and we looked at art in the Spanish-speaking world. My favorite subject is Theory of Knowledge. Theory of Knowledge allows you to study yourself, human interaction, and to question EVERYTHING. For example, on our first day in the class, we had to make a list of everything that we knew concretely, and we discovered that many things that we think we know are just assumptions.
At Hillsboro, we consider the Diploma Programme to be a family because we know how to assist each other physically, academically, and emotionally. I feel that the most important value that DP offers to students in addition to the academic preparation for the future is this encouragement and inspiration.
Quintarius (Quin) Elliot
October 26, 2012
My journey as an International Baccalaureate student has been quite interesting; not only has it been challenging but it has been a greatly rewarding experience. I grew up in a rural town and attended a small country school. I never really appreciated education; all I wanted to do was learn the material and take the test. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school—my first year as an IB student—that I learned to value my education. The two years that I have been in IB have definitely shaped me into a better student. The classes are intellectually challenging, the workload is arduous; however, the teachers have been awesome and are willing to help with whatever, whenever. I feel that the program has prepared me for the workload I will receive in college and will help me manage my time more effectively. After writing such long papers in IB, such as the Extended Essay and all the Internal Assessments, writing extensive papers is not that difficult for me anymore. However, the program has given me far more than just that—it has taught me to be more globally aware and to care about issues that are around me. I have learned to be open-minded toward other people’s opinions and have actually found this to be more enjoyable rather than just shutting them out. Joining IB has probably been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have absolutely no regrets in partaking in this program and would do it over again with no hesitation. I highly recommend it.
February 25, 2013