On September 21 – 23, our year went on a residential to Lido Lakes. Now, I normally hate going on residentials – I always have to socialize so much and put myself in uncomfortable situations. This residential demanded those exact same things, but surprisingly, I actually (kind of) enjoyed the experience. It put me out of my comfort zone and taught me new skills – from completing the exhilarating high ropes to learning how to do Scottish dancing. I had to cooperate with a lot of other people I don’t normally talk to for the team-building activities and I found that it was a great way to find out more about people that I didn’t know so well before. We’re all going to spend the next two years of IB together, so I felt like it was a great way of getting to know them a bit more.
My favourite activity by far was the t-shirt painting, because I personally love art and because I’m so much more of an introvert than an outgoing outdoors person. I painted something from one of my favourite books, Six of Crows, depicting a crow drinking from a wine glass. My least favourite activity was paintball, which gave me a swollen pinky and a slightly bruised head. Nevertheless, I am now glad that I had the opportunity to do it, since before this trip, I’ve never done it before. However, the activity that I’ll best remember doing is raft-building. I must admit I wasn’t much of a help building the raft itself, but I was one of the people who went out into the waters. It was much harder than I thought to work together with the other people in my team to row as fast as we could. We didn’t win, but it was still a fun experience – much more fun than I thought it would be.
Overall, I’m surprised to say that this trip was much better than I expected. I laughed a lot and felt I had become closer with a lot of new people. The main thing that I learned was that while I may not be optimistic or looking forward to something, it may actually result in an unforgettable experience that’ll stay with me for the rest of my life. I have to remind myself to stay positive and keep trying new things, because if I don’t do that, then I’ll never discover new things about myself. This will especially be an important lesson throughout the next two years. Both my friends and I will indefinitely have times when we doubt ourselves or dread doing an assignment, and this time next year, filling out university applications. It’ll be good to reflect back on this lesson and remember that if we try new things and stay optimistic, we might surprise ourselves by how much the experience benefits us, and how much it’ll stay fondly in our memories.