2010 has been an amazing year for me. It has provided me with many great opportunities to grow as a human being. One of these great opportunities was Project Work or PW in short. PW is an A level subject where students are required to work in groups to achieve a certain specified aim. I just completed 9 months of this PW and my project was on initiating an anti fast-food movement. My group chose this project primarily because over consumption of fast-food is a major problem in the world and leads to many health issues and also encourages unethical practices in the food industry. In the course of our project, my teammates and I had many arguments and disputes. But ultimately, we still worked together and successfully completed our project. The entire experience taught me many invaluable life lessons and showed me that, contrary to popular belief, PW is a useful and fun subject. I want to dedicate this post to the lessons I learnt from PW.
Firstly, I learnt just how disgusting fast-food really is. It has almost no nutritional value and is full of fats and carbs. My group even did an experiment on French fries and discovered that it contains lots of preservatives. In fact, this experiment was covered in an earlier post. I also learnt that by consuming fast-food, we are retaining or even increasing its demand, thereby encouraging the fast-food firms to practice a greater degree of cost cutting. This means that they will have an incentive to produce shittier food through unethical practices, such as hiring illegal workers or even ignoring animal rights. Because of this project, I did not consume fast-food for 9 months. This was quite an achievement for me for I used to be a regular fast-food eater. I even experimented with vegetarianism for a period of time when I realized how badly animals were treated by meat producers.
I also learnt how to work well with a group of complete strangers. When we students first started lessons in 2010, we were simply told who was in our PW groups. We had no voice in choosing our teammates! The teachers probably randomly assigned them to us. I was put into a group of 5, out of which 4 were girls. It was an alien environment for me and it was initially really difficult to work on such a big project with complete strangers. Plus, all 5 of us held very strong opinions towards certain topics and thus could not come to an agreement on many issues. Because of the strong opinions we held, I learnt the skill and spirit of compromise. I learnt that when you work in a team, you can’t always have what you think is the best. You have to give up and sacrifice some of your own views to keep the group happy. You have to be prepared to compromise you own theories and ideas. The entire group’s satisfaction, instead of that of a single person, leads to a smooth and fruitful project.
In the process of executing our project, I took an initiative in the designing process. I designed a brochure and created an online video. Both of these tested and enhanced my creativity and opened my eyes to the beauty and power of advertising. This initiative carved out another facet in my personality. I have stopped fearing creativity. Now I cheerfully undertake tasks that require me to be creative. I also took an initiative in designing a Facebook page for our anti fast-food movement. I finally learnt how to use Facebook properly! I also realized just how difficult it is to maintain a movement and to reach out to people successfully. I now admire and respect leaders of major movements. It really requires a lot of dedication, courage and self-confidence.
Ultimately, I had loads of fun doing PW. I think it is a wonderful subject because it gives students a break from the strict academic focus of disciplines such as the Sciences and allows them to develop invaluable life skills such as peaceful co-operation, compromise and creativity. PW can be a really fun and fruitful subject if it is done with a correct attitude and mindset.