January 13, 2016
Rachel, Year 13, Century Park Campus
The end of the year marks the influx of Christmas-themed goodies all around Shanghai: toffee nut lattes, gingerbread cookies, candy canes, and the likes. The end of the year is also significant for the Year 13 students at YCIS, and as a student enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme here, I can corroborate that. December, for many of us, is greeted with the anticipation of the break just around the corner, but more so, the deadline for college applications, Extended Essays (EEs), Internal Assessments (IAs), and our Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essays.
Needless to say, December is a very defining period for us Year 13s. As the year drew to close, we began looking forward to even more defining periods in 2016: college acceptances, graduation, or when we finally get to have the proverbial “icing” on the cake.
For me, as the semester came to an end, the thing I was most proud of accomplishing was my Extended Essay, written on Slaughterhouse-Five, a novel by Kurt Vonnegut. The EE has been a remarkable and an invaluable learning experience as it has reinforced the importance of time management, especially in IB, and it has allowed me to sharpen my critical thinking skills. Moreover, my thesis has given me better insight into who I am as a person in terms of interest, and this has been crucial for deciding on my university majors. Through the EE, I have been able to explore the world through the eyes of another writer, and to learn to hone in on my analytical skills in the process.
The EE has been a tremendous experience for all Year 13s alike, and as the majority of us move on to complete our viva voces (oral examinations), we close yet another chapter in our IB experience.