We asked students to send us articles about their CAS and we received so many amazing pieces. This week Clara takes the stage to talk about her experiences of rebooting the school newspaper for CAS.
Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else
– Gloria Steinem
I started my CAS the first day of the IB Diploma Programme, and decided to follow my dream. For CAS, I decided to dust off the school paper and follow my urge to write and produce. I took on the challenge and despite having regretted it thousands of times, I have also succeeded with my task. Now I am in the middle of the process of handing the responsibility over to a fresh, new replacer before graduating.
Looking back, all the setbacks could have been reasons enough to stop me several times. When I had my first meeting and only four people showed up, when the only one responsible for the layout decided one week before print that layout was not for her, or when three texts mysteriously vanished, not after the first deadline, but a week after the second. I remember standing by my locker with my phone in my hand, breathing heavily and almost screaming at my friend; “This is it”. I also remember rushing into the office of the school’s principal crying out “I’m shutting it all down”. I was not doing it anymore. However, my words said one thing, and my actions another.
The setbacks came continuously in different forms. I put out fire after fire without even thinking about it. Even though I sometimes felt that I had everything under control during that time, the problem was exactly that I controlled everything obsessively, and put too much things under my responsibility. I tried to do everything myself, and fought hard to make sure everything was done perfectly. I didn’t want to screw up my dream.
When writing my last reflection upon this CAS project and closing it forever, tears were trickling down my face. I was grateful to everyone that didn’t left me alone with my dream. Since I, in the end, just wanted the result to be good. The road there has been very hard, but not impossible. Most of all however, I was very proud over myself. Even though nothing changed within my way of thinking about my dream of writing and producing a school paper, my mentality came to a change somewhere in the middle of this first year. I realised that I couldn’t do it all by myself.
I remember writing one of my usual reflections in the end of the month, and feeling unable to tick in the box about collaboration. Suddenly it all came upon me, and I felt as if I didn’t take advantage of the help offered. I realised that a project can’t be done alone. It was time to not only ask for help, but also let people take some of the responsibility of my shoulders. In that way I shared my dream with my whole editorial team and tried to explain to some of them how important this was to me, and why I wanted it to be perfect.
When thinking back at my last reflection mentioned above, I do want to stress how proud I felt. Because I truly believe that at any point that I doubted myself, I also knew deep inside that I wouldn’t stop fighting until it felt okay for myself to call it quits. CAS is not only about collaboration and different topics such as creativity, activity and service, it is also about determination, and every time my lack of collaboration or motivation have been apparent, my determination have grown stronger.
In the end I’m sure I did my dream for CAS. This is because you fight for dreams, you work for dreams, but most of all you don’t give up dreams. I didn’t give up on the school paper, and hopefully it marks the beginning of my dream as a journalist.
This CAS project has made me feel like I can do anything, I just have to like it. Like the journalist Gloria Steinem once said; “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else”. I started CAS with this dream about writing because I knew I was good at it, and because I loved it. After tons of reflections and documented-development, I finished my project with knowledge in leadership, planning, and a new grown self-esteem. I would encourage everyone to make his or her dream into a CAS project! Even though you regret it thousands of times, you’re also a thousand times less likely to give up when you fight for something you dream and feel passionate about.