How to begin… It is extremely hard to explain my growth and development, through reflection, over the period of two years, in only one blog post; but I guess I’ll have to try.
In terms of creativity, I have been an active member throughout a diverse range of activities. Firstly, I was part of both concert and jazz band. I even fulfilled of partaking in a solo at the Con Brio Jazz Festival in Whistler in April 2016. Furthermore, I play trombone 1, making my role all the more significant and thus proving my dedication. This year, our jazz band travelled to Banff to perform at the Rocky Mountain Music Festival. Since this was right before exams, the only Grade 12s that attended were Alex and I!! I hope we made Mr. VdR proud.
Another way in which I participated in the arts was via the school play. It was the first time I had ever acted outside of grade 5 drama class but was a great way to expand my horizons. This was a major… major, commitment as we had practices six times a week often going late into the night. Overall, the combination of theatre and music has allowed me to complete my CAS requirements and achieve all of my goals set by myself at the beginning of the year.
Moving on to service, I believe that this has been my biggest area of accomplishment over the DP experience. Firstly, as a member of the Ismaili Volunteer Corps, I have worked hard to not only serve my local Ismaili community, but also instill an ethic of service within the young and youth members of the IVC.
Furthermore, as a co-chair of the Human Rights Club and founder of StreamKeepers at my school, I have constantly been involved in service whether it be as specific projects or an ongoing contribution on environmental education. One of my fondest memories from the past two years was taking a group of eighth graders down to the stream adjacent to our school on a weekly basis in order to measure the impact of local development on the biotic and abiotic factors of the ecosystem.
Action has always been my weakest component of CAS. Nonetheless, I have actively committed to achieving my goals in this area. For instance, I have been going to the gym at least once a weak to improve my cardio and muscle training. Throughout this experience, I have been setting goals in terms of the amount of weight I should be able to life, the distance I can go on a treadmill, and the amount of lime I can plank.
In order to further enhance my action, I have started running at minimum once a week. This is significant as my heritage and genetics doesn’t really favour my heart so through CAS, I am improving my health as well as commitment to the entire experience.
At school, I also was a member of the badminton team which taught me the importance of teamwork as my doubles partner and I would have to be in sync in order to win and achieve success.
When I first created my CAS goals two years ago, I have constantly been working to achieve them and revising them if and when I have reached a goal, or to make it more manageable. I have exceeded all of my goals in terms of creativity as in music, I am a more experienced player with a larger range and have ultimately come out of the experience with a greater appreciation for both the playing and listening of a collective work.
As the school play was entirely out of my comfort zone, I achieved many goals which may have been seemingly simple to my cast-mates. For instance I had to sing, dance, and be a pirate at the same time! Rough stuff.
My goals in service obviously revolved around others rather than myself. Throughout the past two years, I have increased my service commitments whether they be in or outside of school, and on a global or local scale. Furthermore, I have impacted others to carry on my legacy of service and continue to carry the commitments I carried both with the IVC, and StreamKeepers club. As such, my goal to impact others to learn the importance of service was an overarching success.
My action goals were by far the most logical as they had numerical values which either I achieved or didn’t. Because I started running as an activity, I reached my cardio goals in terms of how far I could run without a break and how many calories I could bun on an elliptical in 20 minutes. I must admit however, that my weight-lifting goals could have been achieved more. While I was able to lift and press more weight and had an overall improvement in my action life, I do believe that if I tried a bit harder, I could be stronger than I am currently. It just goes to show how a mindset can influence your goals and their achievement.
Next year, I plan on attending McMaster University to study Arts & Sciences. As I don’t know what I want to do as a career path, this seemed like the perfect program as it in interdisciplinary and focuses on how arts and sciences work together to create innovative solutions to some of the worlds most complex problems. As a CAS and IB survivor, I know that this is important as a broad outlook offers more perspectives and opportunity.
Now that CAS is done, I look forward to seeing where my future will take me and what goals I may create in order to ensure success in my academic, personal, and professional lives.