My name is Lara Gonzalez and I am a San Silvestre student doing the IB diploma programme. Some basic things about me are that I love reading, comedy movies, ancient history and languages. In this blog I will be keeping a record about the CAS requirement and my reflections of the different experiences. The activities I have chosen were influenced by both my strengths and weaknesses; I tried to find things that I would enjoy and learn from in positive ways. For example, I joined the debate club because I am very interested in global affairs and the different perspectives surrounding them, but also because public speaking always makes me nervous. I think that self-awareness and self-evaluation are key to self-improvement, so I predict that the impact of this blog will be just as rewarding as the actual activities I participate in and therefore I am very excited to start.
Overall, I think CAS has had a significant, positive and lasting impact on many aspects of my life. At first, I thought that these effects would be isolated, but I can see clearly how the three focuses of CAS are interrelated and have made me a more well-rounded person. For example, the confidence I thought I was going to develop only from creative pursuits like the debate team and MUN, also came from activity because sports and exercise made me feel better physically, more capable, and they improved my daily mood, and also from service because helping, teaching and empowering others gave me a sense of usefulness and fulfillment. And yet, despite there being a lot of overlap between CAS, I see why it is important to target each of those areas in order to gain all the individual benefits and achieve a balanced routine. All of the experiences were very valuable to me and I definitely will make an effort to continue them for the rest of my life, especially since IB has allowed me to define my interests in space travel and exploration so in the future I can pursue more activities related to that but in a more committed and mature way, leaning on the growth and development that CAS enabled me to attain during these two years. Keeping this blog was challenging because I struggled with keeping it updated but I think it has given me a lot of structure and organizational skills, and as I predicted it was a great way to practice self-reflection and be mindful of my progress.