Due to COVID-19, our project week has been cancelled. I have been in UWCSEA since 2008 and have been looking forward to project week since grade 1. It was a major disappointment that we were not able to go to project week but I am not the only one which feels this way so I can’t do anything about it. Us students were given a presentation on processing grief which I thought was kind of funny.
I mean hey things didn’t work out in the end with the people in my group so I guess I was saved there. Although I was very excited to share memories on a trip which myself and some friends planned, I have just accepted it. Nothing much I can do.
During the planning stage for project week, I was assigned the role of media coordinator. That has nothing to do with the overall planning of the group so I just decided to help out my group members in any way possible.
My group for Project Week consists of 6 of us, three boys and three girls who as we were all very close friends in general. We initially planned to go to Taiwan for a hiking trip however we were rejected because we were all underaged for the specific trek we wanted to do, next we decided to do a biking trip around Cambodia, however after a meeting with Ms. Toth, the project week manager for our grade, we realised that the trip would be too easy for a lot of us, therefore we came to the final decision of trekking in Cambodia. With a 2am hike to the top of a big hill just to see the sunrise, we thought it was going to be an absolute blast so why not?
Project week planning in general was fairly straight forward as we just had to find accommodation and activities to do which involved the three aspects of CAS, Creativity, Activity and Service which we all already had planned. Once we were approved, we started contacting the local tourism agency and the guides who will be taking us on the trek to see what the costs would be like which after a lot of budgeting, it would be around SG$800 per person (including flights) which was amazing considering we were staying there for almost 6 days.
All we had to do was wait for teachers to say we could book everything and we we’re set.
We are just about to end our first week of Home-Based Learning (HBL) as the Singaporean government announced Circuit Breaker. Due to this whole situation, we have not been able to go to school, go outside, see other people, exercise in public spaces so basically we are stuck at home in fact, I had gone out to meet a friend in the lobby in the past few days and the situation was so serious that I got into trouble for being in close proximity to someone whose not my immediate family with the police.
These past few days have been a bit strange as this is the first time we have ever done something like this. However, it has not been that bad as it has been a lot easier to focus on our own study spaces alone rather than being in a classroom full of peers and friends which can sometimes be distracting. At the same time, learning at the comfort of our home has also been quite a challenge as we have a tendency to sleep in or to get distracted with the things around us such as our beds, laptops, and phones with no one able to scold us or stop us.
We have been stuck in our rooms or study spaces almost all day staring at a computer screen which can take a toll on wellbeing and our eyes. Taking breaks more than we are used to seems to be a way to help us moderate our time on screen. In fact, due to there being no other activity, I can spend up to 10 hours on the computer in a day which is extremely unhealthy.
Lastly, our sleep schedule has gotten even worse than it would if we had normal school as we stay up even later than normal because we can wake up a little later. Many of us students have been getting off our screens and straight to bed right after all of our class has ended to get off our laptops and get back some of the missed hours of sleep.
My CAS Experience so far:
Currently, I am on the track of completing all my CAS requirements. Although due to this whole epidemic of COVID-19 especially here in Singapore, it has affected my service and activity as we are not allowed to be within a large group of people. Realizing that I might not be able to finish my requirements due to this virus, I am still holding onto what I have done as thinking it will be enough for CAS. My service has changed from being a local service to more of a college service which still meets the requirements so that is all good. On the other hand, my activity which is Basketball within the Filipino community which is weekly is being postponed due to the whole COVID-19 outbreak, it is starting to creep up on me that maybe I might not meet the requirements if this virus lasts a lot longer than I think it will.
At the same time, CAS takes up a lot of my time which leaves me less time to work on everything else such as studying, preparing to start my Extended Essay, starting my IAs for all my subjects and so on. I just need to be more organised in how I set up my schedule so that I can manage everything in IB.