Mr. Topf walked rapidly among everybody’s work, just giving it a brief look to confirm that the work had been done. When he arrived to my desk, as soon as he read my paper, he stopped. Something was wrong. He looked straight into my eyes with that “What are you wanting to do here?” face. I didn’t understand. He got my paper, walked to his desk, got a new one and placed it in front of me. The song was titled Viva la Vida by Coldplay (which I now love because of several reasons). The other song was Young and Wild and Free… the rest is history.
Being that this is the last blog I'll write for the IA, I just wanted to take some time to just share the things I’ve learned to try to help others and say thank you to everybody who took part in the experience.
Above all, amongst the skills I’ve developed during this amazing two-year journey, the most significant is, without question, learning to learn. It might sound really cheesy, but that’s how I’ve started to change in every aspect of life. I try to reflect every once in a while, I try to learn something from every activity, I concentrate on what I think about, on why I do things, etc. All of this is part of learning how to learn. I might not be that knowledgeable about econ because I didn’t take the IB course, but I have the skills to learn it easily. And that counts. The same happened with music in the anecdote I just mentioned above. We’ve developed awareness as to what is important to us. Everything you do has to be somewhat tied to what you believe in, to what makes you happy, to what will bring you closer to who you want to be.
In life, we all grow, we all learn, we all develop. But the most successful will be the ones who need the least resources and time to undergo these learning experiences. And it’s easier to increase how much and what you take out from each opportunity than to increase the amount of opportunities, which are there constantly, because we should be learning all the time. We constantly overwhelm ourselves with experiences and stuff. There’s a tendency to get involved in so many activities that we have no time to reflect and learn upon those. Slowing down to increase awareness in this case leads to better learning. To optimize this I suggest three things. First of all, remind yourself to take a step back constantly to reflect upon what you did, how can you improve, why you did it. Second, challenge yourself constantly to do new things, or to do things differently. Just create the habit to challenge yourself and others constantly. Blogging is a great tool for this, as long as you avoid vagueness, and instead of going deep with what you DID, elaborate on what you LEARNED. Finally, always try to see how what you learned can take you to number two: who you want to become. Define what’s important for you. Set priorities, goals and other things that you can constantly go back to and check if your life is aligned to those. Finally, focus on being happy. It’s sad to see how people define the word nowadays. Start by challenging yourself to define the word and identify the key aspects of the path that will take you there. Many people have the overall goal of being happy and making others happy. However, the sole focus of making others happy should make you happy, questioning the time and resources taken into achieving the initial goal.
The purpose of this entry is just to share some thoughts I take with myself from this IA experience. I’ve learned tons of relevant stuff that not only have made two great years, but will positively impact all those coming. Sharing my experience about these concepts might trigger a thoughtful reflection that could be vital for everyone.
Thank you to:
Pedro, for having awareness and being able to question me constantly. Corey, for showing what it means to be growth-minded. Babi, for being so confident. DD, for always looking into that touch of style (or at least wanting to make it stylish). Gis, for being proactive. Drew, for helping all of us, all the time. Paolo, providing such interesting conversations and points of view. Augusto, for dedicating time into your passion and showing me I’m not the only one who is that crazy. Domenico, for giving honest feedback all the time. Stefan, for always being eager towards the artistic. F, for being adaptable into everything. Karen, for being a silent leader. And hineZ, for always being fun to be with. Furthermore, thanks to Bon, Cotter, all IA students, Mr. Akin, Mr. Reynaldo Alarcon, Ms. Carmencita, Mr Jacobsen, PTA, BlendZ buyers, and all of those who at some point had some kind of impact on the IA.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back in a while! :)