As all of you IB students know, Creativity Action Service (CAS) is a compulsory requirement for every IB student looking to complete the IB Diploma Programme. For some, this may be a delightful opportunity (I mean, you’re basically given the chance to do something you enjoy and have it count towards your studies!). For some however, CAS is a dread and an annoying requirement they have to fulfil.
If you belong to the second category, here are some tips to breeze through your CAS!
1. Do it in bulk
Bulk up your service hours with a few intense days. Look for a local event you could volunteer at (3 – 4 day events are great!). It’s so much more fulfilling looking at the number of hours you’ve achieved within a short time (e.g. 25 in 3 days), rather than watching the hours increase slowly per week.
2. Make sure it’s realistic in all aspects
Are you going to travel from one end of the city to the other once a week for a ballet lesson? Find something close in your area and timing-wise convenient for you. Realistically, no one wants to wake up at 8am on a Saturday to go for extra classes. Keep it light and easy to ensure you are continuously motivated to keep going and see your plan through.
3. Find something that suits your lifestyle
We all have our strengths. If you’re an artsy person, you would probably struggle if you sign up for marathon training – it’s only natural! If you’ve always been the sporty type, sign up for a yoga retreat. If you’re musically inclined, you can pick up a new musical instrument. If you enjoy teaching or books, consider looking for a tutoring gig where you can teach English or read to young children. The possibilities are endless and you know yourself best!
4. Don’t be afraid to change paths
We all have that one shirt in our cupboard we tried on 5 years ago in a fitting room and thought we loved, only to change our mind later. There’s no sense in sticking to it if it’s not for you. For example, you may be sporty but dance may not necessarily be your thing. Don’t be afraid to stop and find something else that fits you better. CAS should be something you enjoy!
5. Get it over with
It’s easier said than done, but try and get it done as soon as possible. You should aim to have the bulk of your CAS completed by the end of your first year, so you have less to worry about in the second (the first semester is easiest to schedule CAS activities!) Furthermore, when you leave it to the last minute, you may have lesser options to choose from and may not be able to find something you enjoy.
6. Find something that is related to your future career
If you already know what you’re interested in furthering, you can make sure your CAS ties in with your interest. Are you perhaps interested in studying veterinary studies in university? Then you can consider volunteering at an animal clinic or shelter! This will all look good on your CV. Tip: Through spending more hours in a similar environment, you can also find out if this career path is really your cup of tea!
To summarise, CAS canand should be an enjoyable experience for you in your IB journey. Even if you’re not one for extra-curricular activities, you can always find ways to make your CAS choices worth your time by making sure they will help your future career or improve a skill you’re lacking in e.g. joining a debate team to improve your public speaking. The key is to plan and start early, and look for the best options that work for you as an individual – location wise, timing wise and strengths/interest wise. This way, you can guarantee a successful completion of your CAS requirements!