My CAS blog is a celebration of many of the endeavors I took on over my IB DP journey and portrays the way in which I was able to apply various areas of my learning to extracurricular activities and beyond; so leaving it all behind is a bit of a bittersweet feeling. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that it played a crucial role in ensuring that I balanced my work and school life. An equilibrium that is essential to us, especially as students in the final stages of their IB experience. Looking back through my posts, I retrospectively feel a great deal of joy as I am reminded of all that I have accomplished in the past two years despite the many obstacles that came my way. I feel as though this experiences has most certainly heightened my versatility in terms of balancing school, creativity, activity and service.
*For the purpose of this post I will be spotlighting only a few memorable instances in which I exercised the CAS learning outcomes in my creativity, activity and service related projects.
From learning new languages on my own, to getting creative in the kitchen, taking part in prestigious courses and events and promoting the growth of my own football editing account, I truly made an effort to make the most use of my time and talents in a way that would benefit everyone. Simultaneously, I also ensured that I was able to reflect on the strengths and shortcomings of each of my experiences.
(LO1) One of my longtime projects, “Reef Revival” I thrived in launching our social medias, getting widespread involvement and completing our action, while on the the downside we struggled with things like not being able to achieve our full potential due to the obstacle of Covid. Naturally this never hindered us as we worked tirelessly to make our project the success that it was, and even then we were happy to reflect on what we could do to improve future cleanups. This inspired a healthy mindset in me that I became open to receiving feedback and even identifying my own strengths and weaknesses.
(LO2) What comes to mind immediately when thinking about accomplishing the goals of undertaking new challenges, is my video editing adventures; a project that I took on when I was quite young (then gave up on) but decided to revive my passion for it in the DP for CAS. I was incredibly pleased that my accounts took off and that I got the hard earned recognition for the many hours I put into finding content, learning new software and painstakingly editing over the course of the years. In fact, given you know how much I love football, being seen by some of my all time favorite players and clubs, to this day, is one of my favorite personal achievements. That is to say of course, that it wasn’t without effort that that was accomplished. For example, I needed to push myself to try harder and make better quality edits using more advanced software. In fact, over the 2 years, I can safely say that I tried out and learned about 6 different editing applications (which isn’t near as easy as it sounds). Not only that but on of my biggest personal challenges was staying motivated, as editing so regularly was a bit of a tedious task, but I overcame that annoyance but creating a healthy and balanced editing schedule for myself.
(LO4) Initiating and planning CAS experiences in the IB creatively came primarily, in the form of me being appointed the Service Leader for the Hope for Kids service group in 2021 after a long-term commitment to the service group that I had been a keen member of since I joined school. (LO3) One of my foremost duties in my run as the service leader, was to ensure that the members of our team would be without fail, able to help the children of the cancer home in Maharagama regardless of the local interferences during the pandemic, before and after. My tasks as service leader only became infinitely difficult as Covid -19 struck the island, as we were prevented from visiting in person and could not meet the CCC Cancer Home’s beloved patients, but I ensured that the group stayed on the top of their game in terms of doing our part for the kids, and also the general OSC community. For instance, the Hope for Kids Staff Cricket match was one of the events suggested by myself, wherein we decided that we would have an all staff vs staff game at the OSC field in order to act as a fundraiser during which we also hosted multiple minor fundraising activities such as selling ice cream and thambili (king coconut). This took many months of planning and coordination as we had to reach out to a variety of stake holders from doctors to staff, parents and other members of the student ready to allow it to happen and we had a limited period of time under which we had to organize the event. And in retrospect, I couldn’t me happier with the way in which it was carried out given our circumstances; especially as we raised over 62,000 rupees from that one event alone, among the many other projects that I made possible through my role as Hope for Kids’ sole service leader in the 2021/2022 school year 🙂
(LO4) Such long-term commitments, have also made way to some really important milestones in my personal life. In the summer of 2019, I chose to pursue an internship at a renowned law firm, Sudath Perera Associates, where I worked for about a month in the Intellectual Property department. Following my eye-opening experience at the law firm, and convinced by the events that followed it ie. the BLM movement, I was convinced that legal order and justice was a potential career path I was interested in pursuing in the future. My CAS journey only heightened my passion for this path, as projects of mine such as Reef Revival only further attested to my keen sense of justice. Needless my desire to study law was only cemented in the following years as I took part in activities such as the Harvard Future Lawyer’s Program, the Margin and the IVY Girls lead program. They pushed me to learn more about how justice is achieved in the real world through creative solutions, and now, it is partly the reason why I will be pursuing a career and degree in law in the near future.
(LO5) Although I cannot pinpoint one specific example of when collaboration was pivotal to success, I can confirm that collaboration was the key to my achievements in nearly all creative ventures. Whether is be teammates and group members working alongside me to achieve service related goals, or whether it be my mom sharing a recipe with me for home cooked meals, or the team of aspiring attorneys that it took to win our final Harvard mock trial, teamwork has always been key to ensuring success in the long term. While many of these endeavors were initiated by myself, each person involved had a vital role to play in everything from logistics to the final activity being carried out, and for that I can’t be more grateful.
(LO6) Matters of global significance that I have combatted over the past few years using my creative ventures range from combatting against the marginalization of minority groups (the Margin), women’s empowerment (IVY Girls Lead, IVY Girls Rise) , gender inequality (women’s football edits), child cancer (Hope for Kids) to marine pollution (Reef Revival) and crime (Harvard Law Program) among other things.
(LO7) One of the lesser recognized goals in my DP CAS journey was to help out more at home, i.e. learn how to cook, do chores etc. Anyone who has been following my blog for long enough, would see the major learning curve I saw in my cooking abilities over the last few months. I had been working tirelessly to make meals that would simultaneously help lessen the workload for my mother while also enabling me to learn how to cook in preparation for university. I realized, that from an this was the right thing to do as my mom does so much of that during the day, I only wished that I had allocated more time to it because I often had to make exceptions for days when I was stressed under the amount of work I had. This goal helped both focus on the wellbeing of others in my family as well as myself in the long run. Personal wellbeing and mental health also had a great role to play in my creativity as often, it was things such as meditation, art or playing the guitar that helped me de-stress during some difficult times and by writing about it in my blog I was able to suggest ways of leading a healthier emotional lifestyle to others.
On another note, I could also say that my initiatives such as Reef Revival and other such interdisciplinary service ventures had a key role to play in making the world a better place for the party concerned whether it be young girls or local marine life.
(LO4) It is with a lot of pride that I am able to say that I pushed myself harder than ever before in my life to achieve some pretty incredible things in the field of sport in the past couple of years. If anything, I jumped at the opportunity to try different activities while remaining strongly committed to my pre-existing ones!
Here is a list of all the sports / physical activities I attempted and took part in over the past 2 years:
- body boarding
(LO1) Each of the home-workouts that I took part in my time as a DP student, were specifically tailored to meet my physical needs. For instance, any and all football trainings led by me were specifically focused on certain aspects of my performance to improve upon. For instance, when I was at home training alone during the pandemic, I ensured that I increased the ratio of cardio training that I took on so that my stamina wouldn’t suffer too badly when I got back on the pitch. I suppose now I can say that it probably worked because we’ve come out on a win every football game of the season this year!
(LO2) From the list provided above, biking (for longer distances), bodyboarding, fishing, golf, hiking, kayaking and surfing are all brand new sports that I chose to take on this year. I seized every opportunity I could to take part in these activities and can fondly claim that although there are a few of them such as fishing and golf which are less suited to my tastes, I gave them my all and overcame the challenges that arose with them, such as learning to work as a team to navigate along the water on a kayak.
(LO3) Many of the home workouts along with my diving adventures were both planned and initiated carefully by me over time while I also constructed many of the lesson plans for the children I coached at Decathlon’s La Academia where even I took part. Therefore, I took the initiative to lead by example with the activities I kept up with.
(LO4) Football and Badminton have been two of my longest running commitments in terms of activity that started since childhood. However, during my CAS journey, I never once failed to remain faithful to my training regimes and games etc. In fact, I would even say that it is those factors that contributed heavily to me accomplishing high levels of achievement in both from playing both internationally, locally (for club and varsity) and at an National Team level for football (ie. Maldives, School Football Games (seasonal win streak), TAFA) and competing in the national for badminton (69th annual championships). In fact I have been so committed to my football endeavors that I even began coaching younger children on a voluntary basis so that I could pass on my knowledge to them.
(LO5) As you may have noticed, many of the sports I play and love, are team oriented. In many of the games over the preceding seasons I was given the honor of taking more of leadership role in my teams as I was able to impart my experience on the younger players. Ie. coaching little kids, captaining the girl’s football team at school. That also goes without saying, that the reason why I love football in particular as my primary sport, is because of the energy that comes with celebrating with a team. No game could ever be won without everyone from the spectators to the players putting effort into it, and that’s the beauty of the game.
(LO6) Keeping fit and healthy has been a key element of focusing on improving my mental health; something that so many teenagers, especially students of the IB suffer with nowadays. Likewise, staying fit has also enabled me to combat things such as negative eating habits and illness, thus improving my immunity during the pandemic for example.
(LO7) I have ensured that I have been respectful to my teammates, coaches and alike and acted in a way that reflects strong sportsmanship like behavior which makes the field / court a much better place to thrive on.
- Coaching at La Academia (Assistant head coach)
- Girls RISE (Mentor)
- Helping out at home
- Hope for Kids (Service Leader)
- Ivy Girls Lead
- Reef Revival (Founder)
- The Margin (Journalist)
Given the content covered in the previous sections of the blog (much of which was interdisciplinary) I feel as though I have sufficiently discussed the learning outcomes associated with my service activities in the sections above. In a more general sense however, I am grateful that I have been able to access so many incredible leadership positions in so many different areas of service, that each combat a different global issue and I am amazingly proud of myself for having accomplished all those roles even despite the obstacles that the pandemic for instance has thrown my way. On a parting note, I hope that the things that I have made possible in my involvement in each Service activity has improved someone’s life for the better in some way, through both raising awareness and taking action.
To conclude, I have thoroughly enjoyed my CAS journey and come away a better person because of it.
“Balance is a feeling derived from being whole and complete; it’s a sense of harmony. It is essential to maintaining quality in life and work.” – Joshua Osenga, cubicle slave