CAS program helped me to gain new skills and abilities. It increased my awareness of my strengths and kept me developing in every CAS component as creativity, action and service. It was a great experience and after 3 years of doing it I can say that it greatly benefited me. Before I start my final reflections about all the benefits that CAS gave me I want to say what difficulties I came across and give a kind of “do and do not” for future and current IB students. Firstly, CAS thought me never to procrastinate and write reflections systematically. It not only helps you to organize but also in a way enhances your experience. When I started writing the reflections regularly it became a habit for me and also I started to enjoy it. It was like a blog where I recorded my experience and progress rather than just another homework.
My final reflection I want to start with discussing creativity. For me this part of CAS was the most interesting and gave me an opportunity to improve my artistic skills but also show my individuality. Because of the CAS I decided to start painting once again. I’m not good the technical side of art conversely, the reasoning behind it was to improve. Probably I did – just a little tiny bit. I can say that painting was probably the most enjoyable but at the same time the most challenging activity. It required from me to be patient and committed to finish my final work. From now on I learned to always be motivated. It may sound trivial but looking at unfinished painting made me realize how wrong is to discard my projects early. Other actions I did for creativity was cooking, photography and showing engagement in cultural connected events like Halloween or Christmas. These actions benefited me by being more open minded, becoming more knowledgeable upon other cultures and immersing in cultural event, such as Halloween because it’s not typically an event we would participate in, in Poland.
During these three years activities was a challenge for me to engage in. Throughout my life I never enjoyed sporting activities. Although, I learned to balance theory and practical activities together over time. I think the biggest experience I gained was from tennis. Tennis thought me how to work in a group of people and show empathy towards tennis players in my group. Through playing this sport I have discovered that by staying loyal and committed is the only way to achieve an improvement. For example, three years ago when I first started playing, I noticed that I struggled to find my place with the other tennis players. Never the less, throughout hard work and year through training I managed to find my place in the tennis group. By playing as a group I managed to collaborate with others. This was my favourite part of the sport because the team motivated me and showed me my weaknesses and my strengths. Which was probably the best aspect of the sport.
In CAS, service was the most important component because it had the biggest impact in my life. After three years of helping others as a volunteer it has changed my outcome on life dramatically. I enjoyed service because I was inspired and touched by others who helped out the less fortunate people in the community.
Every year I take part in GOCC. GOCC is based around helping elderly and sick people. Personally, the most rewarding aspect of taking part in GOCC was the experience from it all. I love to help people. Additionally, I was a volunteer at IEM. I learned how to help others and not shy away in certain scenarios. Along with building up my confidence I learned theoretical knowledge about running such mammoth events and how these events work. This knowledge was useful later on during my Business and management lessons.
Group4Project let me to demonstrate my skills and a lot of commitment. My responsibility was the success of the project. Organization the fund raising for the IB Magazine was mainly my task. It developed and strengthens my organizing and group working skills. Moreover I prepared the design of the magazine in which required from me a lot of creativity but also learn new programs. This project helped me to realize how engagement and individuals work is important in the success of the whole assignment.
In conclusion, I want to highlight that CAS was an eye opening experience for me. From developing a balanced life style on my hobbies and school work. In the upcoming year I want to pursue with what I started during the CAS project. Writing a blog and or reflections was beneficial because I can look back at it in years to come and remember the experience as if it was yesterday. My last three years at IB helped me gain important skills, knowledge and experience to be an XXI century polymath.