Lisa Hird

Lisa Hird

SL: Music, Global Politics, Math HL: English A, Japanese A, Biology

Why did you decide to pursue an IB diploma?

Being in the IB Programme since age 5 as a PYP student, taking the IB DP was really the best choice I had. I knew that the IB diploma was a highly regarded educational programme by many international universities, and was beginning to be recognised by Japanese universities as well. It prepared students well for university life with its high-level education, teaching students how to go about the world in its own way. Knowing this, there was no other option but to take the IBDP.

What advice do you have for current IB students?

Time management. That’s the one thing I can say. I was a student who really struggled to manage my time, and that was the last thing I wanted to be when was an IB DP student. By some miracle or other I somehow managed to graduate the programme, but there were many a time I thought I would be kicked out. The IBDP programme really challenges you with its workload, giving you one assignment after another, and without being able to plan out your workload wisely, it really pushes you to the limit. So all I say is – manage your time well. Finish assignments early if you can, with time to spare. Keep an organised schedule, and do make sure not to overwork yourself. I know my other classmates succeeded by doing this.

As an IB student, how did you shape your Diploma Programme studies to your interests?

The IB Programme really helps when you want to work around your interests. I think CAS played a big part in this for my programme. During my CAS, I did a lot of things I wouldn’t have done otherwise, what with the limited amount of free time I had. Festive Eve for starters, as well as volleyball and Crane Club. All of these activities were things I used to do since grade 6, yet at first I thought I may have to give them up because I knew IBDP was just an avalanche of assignments. However, CAS provided me an excuse to continue pursuing these activities, as I could do the things I enjoyed, and still say that I was doing work. The whole meaning of CAS is to get you to indulge in activities other than sitting at your desk and clattering at your keyboard all day, and without CAS, you can’t get your diploma. So what was there to stop me from pursuing the activities I enjoyed by using CAS as an excuse? I think the IBDP really allows you to follow your interests within assignments as well, by giving you the freedom to choose your own topics in IAs, the extended essay, and TOK. Being allowed to work on something I was actually interested about really helped me get through the programme, which I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish, had I had to work on boring ideas given to me by some textbook.