How Not to Alienate "Normal" College Students: A Guide for Former IB Kids

How Not to Alienate

By Contributor

dac213 has some advice for all you ex-Ibers out there: don't be Lieutenant Dan. —Sparkitors
I’m ex-IB, which means I was a part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in high school. Like many ex-IBs, I got to college and found out that no one knows what IB is. IB basically acts like mini-college. And because IB is basically mini-college, ex-IBs were mini-college student for four years before becoming real college students. We’re more prepared, and as we look back on the years of pain that brought us to this point, our inexperienced and naïve fellow freshies with their silly complaints will amuse and annoy us. We’re kind of like the Vietnam vets of the academic world: tell us about your problems and we’ll respond with “You think that’s bad, you should’ve been in Nam with me and the boys in ’69, we had Charlie on all sides and…”

So, ex-IB college students of the world, here’s how to avoid sounding like Lieutenant Dan (and winding up no friends):

  • When your roommate is going on about how she just pulled her first all-nighter ever and she’s so exhausted, resist the urge to tell her that you pulled your first all-nighter in ninth grade and your friends were pulling them in middle school. Instead remember how you felt after your first all-nighter, empathize, offer some advice on the best energy drinks, and warn her about the inevitable crash.
  • When your lab partner is going on about how she only got five hours of sleep last night, don’t tell her that where you come from, five hours is a full night’s sleep. Instead remember how you felt in ninth/sixth grade, when eight hours of sleep a night first began to be a joke, tell her it will get better when she gets used to it.
  • When your hallmate is panicking because she has three thousand-word papers due tomorrow, swallow the mix of emotions that the memory of your extended essay brings up; simply reassure her that it is more than possible to write three thousand words in one night.
  • When your roommate thinks she can do a research paper in one night, don’t give her a lecture on how to procrastinate, and especially don’t end it by telling her that it’s impossible to do a research paper in one night and expect anything higher than a D (with research papers you need to start at least a week in advance and pull all-nighters every night in order to get an A or B). Simply wish her luck and go to sleep; she’ll learn proper procrastination before long.

Basically, remember that not everyone had to write college-style research papers in twelfth grade, many school programs don’t necessitate a sugar/caffeine addiction to survive, the majority of high schoolers never skipped school to catch up on homework or for mental health days (they skipped to have fun or something), and, believe it or not, not everyone had at least one breakdown per semester throughout high school.Weird.

Are you ex-IB? How do you relate to your fellow students?

Related Posts: How to Be the Perfect IB Learner

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Topics: sparkler posts, college, friends, freshman year, School, stress, Advice, ib, ibs, ib students

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