It seems like I say this every year but this time I really mean it, I can’t believe the year has come to an end and now I’ve only got one more left. It doesn’t feel long ago when I was seeing my brother in the hallways and having him tell me what it’s like to be in grade 12, but in a few months time, that will be me. This year has been one to remember, I made new relations, created solid work, and grew as a person. Looking back on just this year I’ve seen growth in many aspects of my life, and so we can look at that together.
The first thing I want to bring up is where I left our conversation last in January and how my goal for this second semester was to focus on the journey and what’s leading up to the end, rather than the end itself. To get it out of the way, I feel like I’ve done that, but to be honest I might’ve gone too far with it, and what was suppose to benefit me, is potentially doing the opposite. This whole idea of putting the work in early and not focusing on the final product has massively reduced my stress levels, and although it may not show to anyone, there are times this year that I have been quite stressed because I don’t know what I’m going to do, whether that’s with a project or on a bigger scale for university. This mindset that I’ve brought into the latter half of my grade 11 year has taken a weight off my shoulders that I didn’t really know I had. I can’t talk about my learning without bringing up the standards I have for myself, and the standards other people have for me, by now it’s quite obvious that I like to do good things and push myself to make those things happen, but since the beginning of February I felt like I’ve taken my foot of the gas, I’ve enjoyed my journey too much and not focused on what actually matters. I can’t help but bring up the negatives right away as for me it’s what’s easiest to see, but to be honest this year has had a lot more positives that outweigh that negative. Like I said, I’ve been enjoying my journey too much and really just been taking everything as it comes, but weirdly enough, I’ve still be creating work that I’m genuinely quite pleased with and at the same time growing as a person much more than previous years.
I can’t go without mentioning our trip to the United States as this experience was both a FAIL and success at the same time. I went more in depth about the work in my post, but this trip was something that really brought out a different side of me. I feel that this whole year I’ve been enjoying my learning and this trip and project that didn’t change. Although it took me well over the deadline to hand in work, I enjoyed that in a way and I felt it was needed. So obviously that was the FAIL, I missed nearly every deadline and was constantly in an uphill battle where everyone was one step ahead of me. As soon as we left for our trip I kind of let that go, I came into it with an idea of how I wanted to communicate my message but my mind didn’t focus on that for the 11 days we were gone. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t a good feeling having nothing to show on the supposed hand in date and I couldn’t just make it happen. My original idea wasn’t able to come to life anymore as I missed opportunities during the trip due to a lack of work ethic. However, where this turns into a success is how I was able to rethink, this year in particular I have noticed that my ability to think and make connections between things has gone up drastically. I somehow manage to find a spark of interest in everything and pursue that with my thinking. This has been a goal of mine for about two years now, so seeing that come to fruition really does make me feel good. Going back to the project I had a new idea and an idea I liked, however, of course these standards of mine got the better of me and I found myself in a standstill as I was unsure as to how I was going to meet them. This is something that has happened on multiple occasions but it was the most evident to me here and really proved to be a problem. Eventually I just had to lower those standards and get it done which is what I did, it’s annoying to know that I could’ve done better but that is just part of that journey that I’m on.
The spring exhibition and all the work leading up to it in my eyes was a big success, I knew I had to make up for the previous project and I did exactly that. From start to finish I was pleased with my work, discovering the purpose of schools to then presenting that idea to an audience seemed to go my way. That skill of thinking and finding what matters came out during this, not once was I in a spot where I didn’t know what to do because I had those thoughts and was able to make the connections. Maybe my final product wasn’t the best, but to be honest, that’s not really what I’m focused on for this, my skills from thinking and then effectively sharing those thoughts were the highlight of this project. It’s not very often that in school you get to have this much freedom, so I think I took advantage of it.
Like all, my grade 11 year has had its ups and downs, but this year I’ve seen shifts in my approach to learning and I’m only getting better. I’ve never been nervous to enter grade 12 because I’ve always been confident that I will be ready, and now that it’s actually happening, the past four years have just been preparing for this. I feel like I’m ready for grade 12 because I’m not a kid anymore, I’m beyond capable of thinking for myself and making decisions based on my own judgements. Over the years, I’ve built up this ability to be myself and understand my strengths and play to them which has only been positive towards my learning. I’m looking forward to what my final year has to offer but what I do know is that it will be a good one. To finish I have a question for you, like I’ve said, there are times when I let my high standards get the better of me, so I wanted to ask you,
How can you help me, or even how can I help myself recognize when I’m not going to meet my standards, and just accept that fact and move forward?