The Curious Case of the Personal Project

Tom Lee stares intently into his computer.
Tom Lee stares intently into his computer.

by Victor Jeong, News Editor

Students embarking on the treacherous journey towards getting into the DP program are met with one final obstacle in their last year of MYP. With news of the Personal Project being put on college transcripts, students have been wondering if the project itself is doing more harm than anything.

The IB MYP Personal Project stands as a daunting task set forth to test student’s abilities to self-manage and self-direct a year long investigative journey resulting in a product, a process journal and a formally written report. The process is often dreaded as students end up cramming the large workload in a matter of a few weeks when it was meant for months. If mentioned near sophomores in the hallways, one will be met with glares of lost hours of sleep and frustration.

But what makes the Personal Project that bad? Is it the fact that it’s such a large time window and there’s too much opportunity to procrastinate? Is it that the grading can be unfair due to the supervisors that you get? Every sophomore can depict some variation of why they dreaded the Personal Project.

When asked about their thoughts on the Personal Project showing up on their college transcripts, one student called it “disgusting” and zealously rebuked the decision.

Many students felt that the Personal Project should just be removed completely as they saw no good in it besides stressing and giving frustrations to students and supervisors alike.

However, the IB MYP Personal Project has long been misunderstood, and whether that’s the students’ faults or the supervisors’ faults that can never truly be fairly assessed.

Most students replied that they thought the Personal Project was “all about the product” and spent most the time stressing on creating the best possible creation that they could. (One would believe such considering the title of this task is the “Personal Project”).

However when consulting the man who helped make the process happen, Mr. Harding, the MYP Coordinator, commented, “The personal project is largely about the process more than anything. You could have a pile of junk at the end, but as long as you planned to make that, and showed and explained how you got there thoughtfully, then it was very possible for you to get a seven on the project.”

When met with the new information, many students donned surprised or even regretful faces, as they certainly wished that they had known that before. Miscommunication and misunderstandings had caused a world of pain for students that they should never have had to face.

To add to the misunderstanding, many students believed that their final grade would be shown on their transcripts and were visibly distraught when they had discovered that their grades had been dissatisfactory. Mr. Harding stepped in once again to clarify: “What actually goes on the transcript is not the final grade, but whether the student completed the project or not, a simple yes or no.” Students had bore a burden that was completely of their own imagination.

It is still mysterious what has created this confusion and misunderstanding, and all that remains is a confused sophomore class and a freshman class that is just getting into the thick of their own battle with the Personal Project.

“The Personal Project was meant to be an enriching and enjoyable study into something that the students really liked. Some took advantage of this, and some didn’t,” said Mr. Harding.

All that’s left is to leave this information behind for future sophomores to know. For if the curious case of the class of 2016 isn’t revealed, who knows what catastrophes and disasters await in the future?