As the year is coming to an end, I’ve had time to look back on all of my CAS commitments and the activities I’ve done over the past two years. From continuing to play piano, something I’ve done since I was very young, to playing with two different soccer teams and going on an amazing trip to Ethiopia, CAS has made up an important part of my grade 12 year. In the beginning, I thought that the IB consisted solely of academics. I thought that I would be spending all of my time studying and making notes, preparing for exams and learning new material. While this was undeniably a major part of the DP for me, the things I learned through my extra curricular commitments were just as valuable.

In terms of the 7 learning objectives, I think that collaboration was quite important in terms of my team sports, particularly on my new soccer team. As a new player coming to the team, I was nervous about fitting in and getting along with the girls. Looking back on it now though, I realize that I had absolutely nothing to work about. I don’t know if it’s because of the nature of team sports, or because of the coach that we had, but the whole group of girls became so close and we worked so well together. Regardless of the outcomes of the game, we always stayed together and remained as close and ever, and that’s one of the most important take-aways that I can name from this experience. Additionally, in terms of my trip to Ethiopia, the planning and initiative that I had to have in order to carry out the trip and get the most out of it—as well as the planning and work I put into writing my blog—was very rewarding. Never before had I gone on such a trip, and the amazing experience that going to a foreign place like Africa provided me was only heightened by the independence that I was able to exhibit while I was there, caring for and spending time with Lonzo.

While at first I must admit that I was not that engaged in CAS—it seemed like a big set of boxes to check off, to be honest—at the end I feel like the numerous activities that it encouraged me to participate in was actually very valuable. While it’s hard to maintain a balanced life in the IB, the athletics, music and other activities that I was able to continue to participate in really helped me relieve stress that built up and maintain a life outside of school.

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