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Make way! Make way! IB students are headed to college today

Rachelle Bernadel is the IB’s University Relations Administrator at the IB Global Centre in Bethesda, MD, USA. She is also an IB graduate of Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland.

When I heard of Mrs. Michelle Obama’s Better Make Room Movement for College Signing Day, I honestly did not initially associate it with college. My inner child starting singing “Moana, make way, make way! Moana, it’s time you knew the village of Motunui is all you need…The village may think I’m crazy or say that I drift too far. But once you know what you like, well, there you are…’Cause every path leads you back to where you are. You can find happiness right –Where you are.” I don’t believe in coincidences so I told myself, okay I will just go with it and expect there to be a connection between Moana and College!

This past week as we engaged through social media with IB students all over the world highlighting and hearing their stories about their college destinations this song “Where You Are” took on a whole new meaning. Many of them spoke about their experiences within the IB Diploma Programme being challenging and some outsiders thinking they were crazy for taking on the load while others shared how the craziness of the IB shaped them into the college-ready student they are.

From Jerusalem to California and many places in between, IB students from the graduating class of 2017 are making room just where they are on their new campuses. They had many great insights to share and I thought I would collate some of them for you to have tangible inspiration for your students:



New this year, was the hashtag #BetterMakeRoom which I loved particularly because it empowers students to position themselves as value to the university they are attending. Oftentimes, during the admissions process, students can feel like they are a cog in a production machine and everything is by chance. They may think that universities are not genuinely interested in them as prospective students. However, that is far from the case and by encouraging students to see themselves as power players, it makes the process much more enjoyable, and they can enter campus with increased levels of confidence and agency. As the song from Moana, IB students who are headed off to college this year are finding happiness where they are. Congratulations!

If you want to continue sharing the buzz throughout the month of May, follow our social media streams:

@ibOrganization, @ibAlumninNetwork #reachhigher #bettermakeroom

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