Pamoja Picture 1My name is Carmen and I am a Finnish IB student studying HL Business Management with Pamoja.

I have played the piano since I was 4 years old and the combination between academic life and extracurricular activities has taught me some very valuable skills, such as time management.

It is incredibly amazing to study in such an international, inspiring environment because it allows students to learn so much more about life and get a totally new perspective! I have come here to share some time management skills I have learnt because that’s one of my best skills.

The need for constant planning

It is really important to know how to manage your time especially as an IB student, when in addition to academic life you also have numerous extracurricular activities to take care of.

I have found constant planning extremely useful and I will tell you how I do it. The most important thing in my school bag is my calendar. I take it everywhere and it really keeps me on track of all the tasks I must do during the week.

I always plan my upcoming week by drawing my school schedule and piano lessons to the calendar. This allows me to know when I am at school and how much free time I have to spend on other things. After I have the frame for the week, I start adding all the other things to their places. These things could be concerts, exams, CAS or meetings.

Once I have everything on paper, I make a “to do” list right next to the schedule. In this list I usually add some smaller tasks that I don’t have to do in any particular time, but they must be completed during the week. These tasks would include all my school assignments, including Pamoja, studying for exams, social activities and some little things that are easy to forget such as emails.

What my week looks like

I usually wake up at 6.30 am and if my school doesn’t start at 8 am, I go to the local music centre to practice the piano before my school starts. My school days end usually at 4 pm, after which I go home and start doing my homework and all the school assignments.

Pamoja Picture 2On Wednesdays, I look through all my upcoming Pamoja lessons and try to figure out what kind of assignments we have and how much time I am going to need in order to complete them. I always try to learn the new material during Thursdays and Fridays.

Something I really like about Pamoja is that the school week starts on Wednesday and ends on Tuesday, which means that I have all weekend to complete the assignments! Since I am a student at Sibelius Academy youth department, I travel on weekends by train to Helsinki for my piano lessons.

I have found it very efficient to do my Pamoja writing assignments on my way to Helsinki, because they take a lot of time and effort. I try to complete all of the lessons during the weekend so that I still have two days left in case everything doesn’t go as planned and I need a little bit more time.

The importance of relaxing

When planning your week, it is extremely important to make sure you have some free time planned! I couldn’t possibly stress enough the importance of relaxing your mind and body from all the pressure they have to deal with.

I have noticed that in order to be active and happy and being able to do all of the numerous tasks from week to week, I need to let my mind rest and getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to fulfil this need.

Some things I love doing to clear my head is going outside for a walk in a forest or just play in the snow with my brother! In the summer I like to go sailing with my family to the beautiful lakes of Finland and enjoy the calmness and nature.

These are things that help me keep up with the sometimes rather stressful everyday life, and they also make my life so much more exciting!


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