I came in to UCD with 31 credits covered just from IB - that immediately put me at a second year standing. I am so used to this kind of fast paced educational learning route that I've decided to enroll myself into summer school just because I KNOW that I am prepared to take on 2.5 hour long courses 4 days a week. IB has allowed me to test out various ways in which I learn best. This may seem like a minor impact but it has helped me immensely! I am able to walk in AND sit through the class and actually learn something. Something as simple as note-taking in Sandstedt's class may seem painful at first, but it is incredibly beneficial for me now. PREPARE FOR A LOT OF NOTE TAKING!!!!
I am currently a 3rd year standing (Junior) and this is only my first year!! In all honesty, my first semester at UCD was so easy. I was able to get straight A's for all 15 credits (5 classes) AND have enough time for my job. On top of that, I was so prepared with my time management that I was able to go out almost every weekend and just enjoy myself. People believe that IB sucks the life out of you. Sure, there were times when I believed I was wasting my high school years on chemistry, history, math, etc., but now that I look back, I wish I focused more on those subjects instead of wishing to have a life (as in study my chemistry more). Trust me, whatever social events you may miss in high school because of prioritizing your education first, is not even comparable to what the college life is like. IB is an opportunity that should be taken if offered - no question about it.
I may be one the youngest in my courses, but IB allows students to have that maturity level to be able to have an intellectual conversation with professors, students, TAs, etc. Communication is highly important in college. You would want to be able to say more than just, "yeah" "okay" "i see". You need to be able to respond back, give your feedback, let your voice be heard. IB has given me the ability to put in my pre-existing knowledge in topics such as Cuban Missile Crisis (for my ethnic class), or be able to show how to do the derivative of a function (in my calculus course) with confidence. I admit, I would sit in some of the IB classes and think to myself, "I don't need to know this stuff." Newsflash! Most of the topics covered in class will be used in some of your college courses. Do yourself a favor now by studying and take classes seriously. It'll give you a headstart in some of the topics you will have to eventually revisit.
To sum up, I did not realize how big of an impact IB made on me until I stepped foot on the university campus. The environment is so fast paced and liberating compared to Kennedy's confinement -- which requires students to be able to adapt quickly in order to not fall behind. Entry level classes may differ from the courses I immediately took, but the expectations are the same. Professors expect students to complete their work without having to "baby" them. Assignments have two options - to be turned in or not. Excuses are rarely allowed, professors could care less if you were sick; if you miss the work you miss the grade. Period. IB prepares students to be able to complete large papers, assignments, readings, and be able to analyze the work to share with the class. If students are able to annotate Mrs. Virnich's novels and have input in Socratic circles, they will be able to communicate with confidence as to the content of the college text material. If students can write a historical piece using legitimate research and sources, they will be able to write 5-10 page papers using editorials and academic journals within a day.
Take it from me, I am now a Junior at UCD and this is only my first year. I am able to complete all my work on time with ease because of the preparation IB has given me. Completing work and turning it in is one thing, but actually applying the material to everyday life and at the same time being able to send a message is another. With the IB preparation I am able to fully speak my mind using sufficient support and confidence.