Does the IB Push Students into Relationships?


Illustration by Ning Chang

Throughout UNIS, it is common to see couples holding hands or dropping their significant other off at class. You might even see a teacher glare at a couple that is a bit too affectionate. Many students would agree that their parents tell them to stay out of a relationship to focus on school. But what if a relationship helped decrease the stress many students feel while partaking in the International Baccalaureate? Out of the ten IB students interviewed, seven answered no, the IB does not push students to engage in a relationship. The students agreed that relationships could take time away from studies and create stress while trying to balance an enormous workload. One student answered, “As a result of the IB I feel like [my grade] doesn’t have as many relationships because we just don’t have too much time to get to know each other and emotionally invest ourselves in relationships. As a result of stress, I think most of us find ourselves in a place where we want to forget and be distracted from school work, so the easiest way to do that is to do go out and be social and rather than dating.”

Still, it is possible for relationships to work. Three students answered that the IB did push them to engage in a relationship so that they had an outlet for the stress IB had caused. But, students also agreed a relationship in the IB could be negative if the relationship adds stress to a student’s life or distracts them from school. One student answered, “I don’t think you choose to engage in a relationship, but people would gravitate towards something that could be considered more stable or stress-free [like a] relationship. But I think relationships, in general, need time and a lot of understanding whether or not you’re in the IB. A relationship would only have a negative effect on you and add to IB stress if the relationship isn’t good/stable on its own.”

Another student explained that it isn’t the IB that pushes students to engage in a relationship, it is getting older, “I think that overall the IB doesn’t really push me to have a relationship but growing older does. Just the fact that I’m almost done with high school makes me feel almost as if I’m missing out on something because you haven’t actually been in a proper established relationship thus far.”

Regardless if their answer was a yes or no, the students all agreed that relationships are harder to focus on because of the IB, but many people can make it work no matter the amount of work or stress. It really depends on the person and being able to keep a balance between school and having a social life, whether that means engaging in a relationship or not.