CAS is 100% a process of reflection. From start to finish, you are constantly examining your personal performance and strength in everything from commitment to public speaking. In fact, IB in general places a lot of focus on your personal profile, and I found that I have come to learn my strengths very well, allowing me to work more efficiently both in groups and on independent projects. But one category that everyone seems to stay away from, regardless of your age or experience, is personal weakness. It takes a lot of courage to find confidence in expressing your strengths, but it takes far more to study yourself and admit you’re weaknesses. I would say that so far IB has been a journey of personal discovery (with a light dusting of stress) that has made me far more comfortable with the weaknesses I possess, and I am beginning to truly work on and counter these weaknesses as CAS progresses. So what are these weaknesses? What achilles heel plagues the incredible (ish) Samuel Hanson? Well the first weakness is that I am a very rigid person, especially when it comes to school. I do best when I have an exact list and examples of what I am supposed to do for a project or an assignment. Of course it just so happens that CAS is literally the exact opposite of that, with no set structure or to-do list unless you choose to make one up, and this have proven to be rather difficult for me. So far I’ve managed to counter this by creating my own week by week schedule complete with a comprehensive budget, which has kept me motivated and up to date. However no weakness is cured instantly, and lately I have found myself feeling incredibly overwhelmed, demotivated, and lacking incentive, which has led to a lot of personal review and reflection. The Wonderment grant has actually been extremely useful, as it has not only given me a specific deadline but it has provided formal, outside structure and achievements that I can use to boost motivation. I have also just ordered the materials for my International Celebration night, which is a massive step in preparation! Naturally, I have more than one weakness, which leads us to our next tidbit. My second weakness is my tendency to internalize stress and oncerens, which not only leads to an increased psychological toll but also hurts the communication between me and my teachers and gives them false ideas surrounding my project status. I have not done much in ways of working on this weakness so far, but I am starting to realize that it is becoming to much of a problem to ignore, and I have come to the conclusion that it is quite simply time to seek advice and help from none other than the incredible Ms. Amy. I believe that externalizing my concerns and fears and possibly creating an improved plan will set aside a lot of the doubts I have in regards to this project. All in all, I believe that although I have weaknesses, I have realized them and I am prepared to combat them in whatever ways necessary.
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