Mary during my time in the program.

Mary
Elizabeth FitzPatrick

IB
Application

29
December 2017

 

Personal Statement

The International Baccalaureate
program has been of interest to me since I first heard about the program in
middle school. The opportunity to study in another country caught my attention
and I immediately knew I had to be a part of something like this. There are
many benefits I would gain from participating in IB and I would learn a lot
about myself along the way. One of the ways IB would benefit me is by improving
my work ethic and help me to better understand myself as a learner. Identifying
my personal learning style is something I struggle with now and hope to improve
during my time in the program. The difficulty and intensity of IB will
challenge me to new lengths and prepare me for the life I will have after high
school. Another skill I hope to gain is time management. I have heard from many
current and past IB students that time management is one of the most important
things involved in achieving success throughout Junior and Senior year, and I
am confident this skill will improve immensely. I think having logged hours of
Creativity, Activity, and Service is also something that sparked an interest to
me, and knowing these things will be a requirement of the program is wonderful.

Some of the ways I will contribute as an individual will be to have an open
mind and to participate as actively as I possibly can every day. By facing new
and unexpected difficulties every day, the IB program will teach me how to be a
more adaptive individual and help me to find my place in society from a global
standpoint.

 

Mary
Elizabeth FitzPatrick

IB
Application

29
December 2017

Strengths
and Weaknesses

The attributes of the IB Learner Profile
are vital to having a successful and rewarding experience in the International
Baccalaureate program. Learning about my personal strengths and weaknesses will
help me to become a better student and to become a successful member of the IB.

Knowing the qualities I have already acquired and the skills I know I need to work
on will help guide me down the right path to make a positive impact during my
time in the program. I know that if I let my flaws control who I am as a
student, I will struggle with focusing the things that help me to thrive in and
out of school. Identifying my strengths and weaknesses that are found within
the list of elements contained in the Learner Profile is a challenge in itself,
and will be beneficial to my success in IB.

                  One of the attributes of the IB Learner
Profile that I consider one of my strengths is the ability to inquire. I have
always had a desire to learn about the world around me, and since a
young age, I have found myself questioning things that I saw and doing my best
to come up with answers, no matter what the outcome might be. I vividly remember
as a child sitting in the garden catching and observing bumble bees in a jar,
and being unbothered by the constant stinging. I have always been intrigued by
travel and I take advantage of any opportunity I can to experience the world.

This summer, I will be traveling to the Galápagos Islands with a few
students from Harriton on an educational tour. Marine science and
biology are subject areas I am passionate about, and being able to experience
one of the most celebrated research locations for marine wildlife first hand is
remarkable to me. The trip will provide me with an experience of a lifetime,
and every day I will have the opportunity to see, learn, and question more
about the world around me. Being an inquirer is present in my everyday life
while doing something as simple as decision-making, or something as
complicated as solving real world problems that are relevant. Managing this skill can be a
challenge, but the outcome of being an inquirer is well worth the difficulties.

            In reality, there is no way for any
individual to maintain each and every one of the attributes included in the
Learner Profile. Being balanced in life is very important and it is something I
put up a fight with more times than I can count. After school and during the
summer, I somehow always end up with an overcrowded schedule that can be
difficult to manage. Some of the activities that take up most of my time
include rowing, working, and many other events that keep me busy. While
juggling all of these activities can be daunting, I am a person who constantly
likes having an activity to do, whether it is homework or going out with
friends. I am confident that if I spend a period evaluating my actions and
limiting them to make more time available for school assignments, rowing, working,
and socializing, I will be much better-off than I would be if I had an
unrealistic and unmanageable agenda. Balance and time management is an
important skill that is essential to obtain necessary work ethic and habits.

Recently, I experienced something
that I never thought I would ever have to go through. I was at my friend’s
house and received a call from my mom at four in the morning. My brother
unexpectedly had to go to the Emergency Room due to a blood clot in his leg. While
in surgery for over 3 hours, the doctors told us there was a good chance he may
lose his leg, and if they save it, he would be in recovery for a long time. The
thought ran through everyone’s mind that our family would be changed forever,
no matter what the outcome of the surgery is. Luckily, they were able to remove
the blood clot without losing his leg, but the recovery process will be long
and difficult for my brother as well as my other family members. This situation
has challenged me mentally and has forced me to be as caring as I possibly can
as we all battle this hardship. I know that if I care for my brother and be an
emotional support outlet for the rest of my family only good things will be
brought forward to me by others. Although this unfortunate event has taken a
toll on my family, it will strengthen us in ways we have never experienced
before, and being a caring person has positively impacted the lives of everyone
who is struggling.

Even though having an open minded can
help me handle being in situations where big changes are prominent, I always
fail to bring that to attention in my own mind. Having an unbiased view on
situations leads to making mistakes a little bit more tolerable, making the
mistakes an experience to learn from. Recognizing these faults and addressing
how they affect me is a weak suit of mine. Being open to other’s ideas has
always been a challenge to me because without a doubt I am stubborn as a mule.

I get this characteristic from my Dad, and it has definitely made its mark on
how I handle problems. Improving this skill will help me in group work which I know
I struggle with now. Having an open mind will help me to better understand the
world and communicate with others without having strict opinions only on one
side. This second perspective will guide me to make better and smarter decisions
in life and will make communicating with other individuals more worthwhile.