Grace Xie '20

School & Program
Western University, Ivey School of Business

Meadowridge Student Since
Grade 9

Born in
Hangzhou, China

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I like music, I play piano, and I’m really into the arts, both visual and performing. My passion for visual art is something I actually discovered when I came to Meadowridge. I never had the chance to take an art class before, so I was excited when I could. It was just something I really wanted to learn… I wanted to paint and draw and do something different. I also swim – oddly enough, I was “scouted” from my pre-kindergarten class in China!

How did you first find yourself at Meadowridge?

My parents were searching for private schools. They wanted something that would challenge me. So they did the research, I did the testing, and we came to Meadowridge. I was excited – I chose to come here! I was in Grade 9 at the time and was really nervous, but I had already switched schools a lot at that point and I was used to transitions and changing environments.

Tell us about your year ahead.

I am going to Western University to study psychology and business. I’ll be at the Ivey School of Business in the HBA Program. I do have the advanced entry offer, too.

What was it about Business and Psychology? About Western?

I wanted to study psychology because it links back to art. I do see a lot of psychological connections – like colour – in art. I use these in my own art; I like to put deeper meaning into my artwork and make connections with my audience. Not only explicitly, but implicitly as well. I like to connect with my viewers. In my DP Art Exhibition, for example, I created this piece called ‘Circles’. I intended to portray social circles, which, at first, wasn’t so obvious. But the painting displayed a lot, through colour, through the circles, through the shapes… I also wanted to study psychology because of my connection to student council. I’ve had to practice a lot of teamwork and collaboration, which links back to psychology.

Step out of your comfort zone. Also, try to think of the bright side in taking the IB. It is hard, I agree, but try to think: what can I get out of the IB other than grades? The experience is important.

I chose Western because of the structure that the program offers. I get to learn anything that I want in the first two years, then I get to learn commerce and business management in the latter two. That’ll be a useful degree. I can apply that in all my future careers, I think. I can also choose to do a fifth year and get a double degree, but I’m not sure yet!

How did you find out you were accepted?

It was my first choice, but I don’t have that exciting of a story. I woke up, saw the email, and was just really excited. It actually came a week earlier than I expected. I live in Maple Ridge during the week, away from my parents, so I called them first!

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

The new independent experience that I will have. I’ll be in university, living in dorms, making new friends, and living far from my family on the other side of the country! I look forward to those new experiences and learning from different people. For me, really, it’s about the flexibility I’ll have. I can take lots of electives, and I’m already looking into a few that interest me. I want to study French, since I’ve studied that since Grade 10. I want to study Art History, too. I took Music Theory for piano, but Art Theory is something that interests me too. I wrote my Extended Essay on Art Deco architecture in China – that was so interesting. There’s also a class about museum curation. I helped Ms. Laurie curate galleries at the school twice and I liked organizing the art and leading the viewer… that’s psychology!

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

The people. I’ll miss my teachers and friends and the sense of belonging I have at the school. Meadowridge is a second base for me. The environment that teachers and students create is very encouraging and motivating. It’s what motivated me to step out of my comfort zone and to see more potential in myself. It’s why I was able to try new things, join new clubs, take on initiatives and become a leader. I became more confident here.

Also, I’ll miss the IB. I really enjoyed the assignments we had in Theory of Knowledge (TOK), as well as the Extended Essay (EE) and Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS). Seeing my interests grow and knowing that I’m capable of writing a 4,000-word essay – I never thought that would happen! I didn’t even care about my grade, I was just so glad about my project. TOK taught me how to learn. Meadowridge pays important attention to those things, which let me explore before entering university.

Any parting words of wisdom?

I hope you aren’t afraid to try new things. At Meadowridge, we are given so many opportunities and we should be grateful for the opportunities and experiences we have here. We go on camping trips every year, we have great resources and knowledgeable teachers… and all in safe environment. Step out of your comfort zone. Also, try to think of the bright side in taking the IB. It is hard, I agree, but try to think: what can I get out of the IB other than grades? The experience is important.

When I first started at Meadowridge, I was very timid. There’s been a change in my personality. I wasn’t social, and I didn’t want to talk to people, but then I came here. I applied for student council and became an executive, became a leader in robotics, and initiated my own CAS project.

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.

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