Discuss what you particularly enjoyed about the retreat – and anything that you found challenging in a positive way (Challenge & Passion, Sublimation, Finding your Path…)
The most memorable moments in the IB retreat were Path to University by Mr. Aldridge, CAS by Mr. Hamilton, YOGA/Meditation session by Mr. Lobo, the Movie: 11 angry men and the Poverty Simulation by Crossroads.
The University Talk gave me a better understanding of how universities worked. During this session, Mr. Aldridge made it very clear that not all universities are equal, but not as much as we think it is. It turns out that going to the best university that you can go to usually isn’t the best option because you are likely to be below average. On the other hand, if you went to a mediocre university, it would seem to be that you accomplished a lot more when you apply for a PHD (or something like that). Also, it seemed to have made me feel more opened to Canadian universities as the difference isn’t actually that big.
Then I had a CAS session with Mr. Hamilton to learn that there were no longer such things as CAS hours. This session along with the graduate questioning session both said that we should continue to do what we like instead of what would look good on an application. So unlike what people rumoured about before when you had to do certain hours of Creative, Action and Service activities, now we can do what you are passionate about (AKA: Something that you are most likely already doing).
With school and work comes stress, one very helpful session was the YOGA/Meditation session. Even though we are only at the first month of school, I already find school really stressful as I take Physics HL and Math HL, both intensive high reward subjects. This session helped me to wind down from stress, this is especially useful as I am an introvert and I do not handle pressure well. It was as if a pond of water had no waves, this also convinced me that I needed this type of session more often in DP, so I joined a relax session at school.
The next day, we went to Crossroads for a poverty simulation. We were split into groups of ~7 and we had to make 10 paper bags in 10 minute sessions, then we could attempt to sell them for money and the shop keeper could either accept or rip the paper bags. From this activity I learned that poverty isn’t caused by the existence of the wealthy or people being lazy, but from their lack of education and choices. One of the things we could have done was work together to become more efficient, I attempted to do this but the environment didn’t allow, it was too noisy as the host played loud music and I had to shout at the top of my voice just to let the person next to me hear what I was saying. After the activity, we had a conversation about what we could do to help them. The host gave us examples of people our age building parks and hospital in undeveloped countries, but then if everyone could have that sort of impact, then there wouldn’t be poverty so I was skeptic about how we could make a big difference.
I believe that everyone could help to solve poverty, but our efforts would only be contributing to a better standard. Statistically, there will always be a percentage of people that will have less no matter what we do. As dark as it sounds, this is true since life walked on this planet. A small percentage of something or someone will always have a bigger portion of something relative to their counterparts, this ratio doesn’t just work for living organisms, it even works for the environment. Maybe it’s just because I’m a science student, but I think that cheap and accessible technology will solve the difference in classes in the future.