The first few days at home after my School at Sea voyage were tough. I had a lot of adjusting to do: even just getting used to living in a house and following family routines again. I also didn’t really have time to relax because I had so much to take care of for school. Although I’d been prepared to expect all this, it still didn’t make it any easier! Now, after a few weeks, I am settling down, though I am still very busy catching up on school assignments.

Looking back at the School at Sea experience after a couple of weeks at home, it is difficult to explain how I feel about the trip. It was an incredible experience in which I learnt a lot about myself, and also about others. I put a lot of effort into finding the best way for me to get my work done. I now appreciate that education is a very individualised learning curve, with no universal fail-safe formula. However, the best method I discovered to be productive at sea doesn’t work as well now I`m home and have to follow the school schedule again. So, I now have to use what I learned on board to figure out the best way to work here. I need to adapt again, but hopefully not too much, and I now have the skills to be able to do this.  

At the start of the School at Sea expedition I found it difficult to work productively and make plans I could maintain. It took some time to figure out how to motivate myself and complete my work. After testing out various methods, in the end I found that setting daily goals and focusing on just one or two subjects worked best. However, in the end unfortunately my grades were not as good as I would have liked and I am still a bit behind on my work, because the learning adjustment process took quite some time. This is why I have to spend the summer holiday catching up on my work. But I still think in all I did okay. My mentor says I had to find my own user manual. Learn about what works for me and when I can and cannot cope. I like that metaphor.

My main goal during SaS was to find a better way to study. And I did. But this is not all I have learnt. I also learnt a lot about working in a team, being honest about what I do and do not know, and coping with feedback from others. My next goal is to again find the best way for me to work in my new circumstances. I also intend to show more confidence in offering my help to others and asking for help if I need it.

I'm looking forward to our SaS reunion in July. Since returning home, we have all been locked in our small worlds in a sense because the coronavirus situation doesn’t allow us to travel and see each other. I have really missed the others. Because of the amount of schoolwork I need to do in order to ensure I am fully ready for next year, I haven’t found the spare time to edit the video material I shot during my trip. I will start on this as soon as possible, and I’ll update my blog as soon as I can with some of these videos. I’m looking forward to doing this and extending my newfound interest in video journalism! More from me soon.

January 11, 2020

Onboard from Amsterdam to Tenerife

So, my adventure has begun! The first part of the journey started in Amsterdam. There were a lot of things I had to get used to: doing all the things I do at home but in a strange environment. We spent the first week in the harbour in Amsterdam, loading supplies. ...continue reading »

December 4, 2019

In photos: the adventure begins

School at Sea student Tobias Zijlstra set sail on the Thalassa on 20 October 2019. This photo gallery captures the departure from Amsterdam as the students embark on a six month adventure at sea. ...continue reading »