If you would have told me in grade eight that having fun at school is just as important as meeting assignment criteria, I would have thought you were crazy. Fun has no place in a project; it’s not productive! This mindset stuck with me all throughout grades eight to eleven, and, despite enjoying during a lot of my projects, having fun was never a priority. This all changed however when I took an Economics class this year. The combination of the engaging, minimal homework learning style and my pre-acquired business knowledge from Junior Achievement allowed me to focus less on specific criteria for projects and more on having an enjoyable, educational time. Although I didn’t put the usual sort of pressure on myself, I still walked out with the grade I wanted but I felt that I had actually learned more, created better final products and developed closer relationships with my classmates. I thought about this in our last week of PLP, and decided to apply the same strategy to great results.
Preparing for the Exhibition
Creating an exhibition is always a little stressful, but I now realize this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have fun. We started off this week by planning out what everybody’s jobs would be. I initially wanted to take on a lot of logistical work because I was afraid it wouldn’t get done other wise, but considering it was our last exhibition I decided to try something new. I took on the role of creating the choreography which felt like a stretch at first considering I hadn’t danced before, but I wasn’t going to hold back. I designed a three part extravaganza which involved ribbons, protest signs and choreographed march patterns, and although it’s a little cheesy it was super fun to make. I believe that the simplistic energy will actually draw our guests in more than a subtly complex routine and our class had a good time practicing it. By prioritizing fun, I was able to make something unique and exciting and with enjoy it alongside my class.
Another part of having fun is being more relaxed with your schedule. Instead of giving myself 100 tasks to do in our last class, I simply tasked myself with creating one really good sign. This allowed me to relax my workflow a bit and take some time to check out my group’s work, which proved valuable as I was able to give some painting advice. I put a lot of care into making my women’s rights sign and enjoyed the design and painting process. When this class was done, I had accomplished all I wanted to, had an excellent product and had helped some of my classmates. I would say that once again, having fun paid off.
When you enjoy yourself at school, you get unexpected benefits out of your work like creativity, bonding with your group members and having time to pay attention to details. You become more productive and also will look forward to the time you spend in your work life more. It would have been nice to realize this in grade eight, but its better late than never because I can definitely apply this lesson to university.