Alex Dmitriev '20

School & Program
McMaster University, Health Sciences

Meadowridge Student Since
Grade 3, Grade 8, Grade 10

Born in
Johannesburg, South Africa

 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well right now during the quarantine I like to sleep – I’m a very productive sleeper! [laughing] But really, I like sports. I have always been into sports and athletics. I played soccer competitively until I was 16, but got into kayaking when I was 12 after I tore my hamstring and couldn’t play anymore. It was one of my friends who suggested I try kayaking and I figured “why not?”  I’ve always loved the outdoors. So I tried it for the first time, then I tried it competitively, then I started really training. Training is a lot – six times per week and, in the summer, six times per week, two times per day – so the last few years have been me balancing those demands with school and with soccer. Athletics is a large part of who I am, but academics have always been important to me.

How did you first find yourself at Meadowridge?

I actually left and came back twice. I came to the school when I was in Grade 3, left, then came back in Grade 8. Then I left again, only to come back again in Grade 10. I made very good friends here over the years, the education is incredible, and the teachers are great, so it was a pretty easy decision for me to come back for Grade 11 and 12. The International Baccalaureate (IB) was also important for me.

I’ll always have this one memory, one evening walking down from the field after practice, it was a warm summer evening and I just looked around at the school and the flags… I just had a good feeling. It is these types of memories I will always hold very close to my heart.

Tell us about your year ahead.

I’m still not totally decided. I know I’m going to study Biological Studies and Physiology, pretty much a pre-med pathway, but I haven’t decided on where. I’ve been accepted to the schools I’ve applied to, but I want to stay local and within a smaller school. That’s just been my preference. Meadowridge actually played a part in that, my wanting to stay in a smaller school, since the level of personal engagement will be the same.

What sparked your interest in medicine?

I’ve had many influences in my life and I’ve always been interested in the STEM field. I’ve had many incredible teachers who sparked my passion in STEM and who motivated me to pursue that avenue. I think my love for finding answers is what ultimately pushed me into science. I enjoy finding out why things are the way they are. I enjoy doing labs and experiments, I enjoy doing my own investigations, and I like proving and disproving things. I’ve also been injured a lot – especially with soccer! – so I’ve been to the hospital enough that it sparked an interest in medicine. Both of my parents are in the medical field, but they still encouraged me to explore my options. None of my siblings entered the medical field, so they’d joke “you’re the last one!”’ but, really, they would have been supportive of anything I would’ve liked to do.

What will you miss most as you move onto the next chapter?

It may be cliché to say – and I don’t want to say ‘community’ because everyone says that – but it is the community. The way you interact with your teachers and your peers and everyone else around you… It makes such a difficult programme so much easier. I don’t think I’ve ever gone into school and actively dreaded anything. Over the summer of Grade 11, I was actually looking forward to Grade 12 even though I knew it would be difficult. Meadowridge has such a great community. That’s actually one of the things I realized when I came back. I never realized how much I appreciated it all until I was gone. The teachers are fantastic, and they make learning so enjoyable. Even in the deepest stress of the IB, they make it all bearable. There’s a mutual respect, all the students are respectful of the teachers, and that’s a great environment to be in. It’s definitely what I appreciated most when I came back.

[T]he education is incredible, and the teachers are great, so it was a pretty easy decision for me to come back for Grade 11 and 12.

But I have more specific memories, too, of things that I’ll miss. I feel comforted by those memories. Like going out on the backfield and playing soccer with the guys. I’ll always have this one memory, one evening walking down from the field after practice, it was a warm summer evening and I just looked around at the school and the flags… I just had a good feeling. It is these types of memories I will always hold very close to my heart.

Any parting words of wisdom?

Enjoy your years here. It’ll be very difficult at times. I can’t give you some pro tip that’ll allow you to get straight 8’s, but just take a step back and enjoy it. I’m sure you’ve made great friends at Meadowridge; take time to appreciate them. I’m sure you have great bonds with teachers at Meadowridge – actually, staff too: this is divergent but Rad is the best.! I love you Rad! – but enjoy the time you spend with them, too. I’ve been reading these interviews since Grade 8, and everyone says the same thing, but that’s because it’s true. Treasure the experiences. Enjoy them.

Also, live a balanced life. Balancing academics with athletics was a difficult balance, but worth it. My kayaking coach Tessa – thank you, Tessa! I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done without you – and Mr. Jackson both deserve thanks. If you only study it’ll really get to you. If you can think you can just study and not do anything else, you won’t have something else to turn to. Kayaking was my outlet. I know sometimes after school the last thing you want to do is go exert yourself, but once you do, you become refreshed. You feel better afterwards. You don’t need to be the best, just work at something consistently and you’ll learn to cope and relieve stress.

Congratulations to our 2023 Graduates

The Class of 2023 is graduating from one of the most rigorous academic programs in the world. Throughout the past year, and throughout their journey with us at Meadowridge, they have exhibited grace, courage, intelligence, and kindness.

They are all going on to prestigious schools nationally and internationally, to join rigorous programs in a variety of disciplines, and, most importantly, to make a positive impact in our world. We are proud of what they have achieved, and despite knowing change is the only certainty, we are confident that these young people are prepared to not only meet the future, but also to create it.

Read More Grad Profiles