Keissa Tam '21

School & Program
UBC or Western University, Kinesiology

Meadowridge Student Since
Grade 5

Born in
Moosejaw, Saskatchewan

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m on the quieter side. I enjoy alone time, although I do like spending time with friends. I also like to play piano and learn different languages. I speak English at school, Cantonese with my parents, and Mandarin. I also study Spanish at school and started picking up Korean in Grade 7. It’s so interesting, learning about different cultures and values and seeing how some things are rude in one culture and not rude in another. You can’t learn a language without learning about its culture, where the idioms and expressions stem from. I’ve learned by travelling but I can’t lie: I learn a lot from watching tv shows. For Korean, I used workbooks and other apps as well. I have also been practicing Taekwondo since Grade 6.

How did you first find yourself at Meadowridge?

My parents noticed I worked better in small-group settings, so they looked into some local schools and found Meadowridge. I started at the school as soon as I finished Grade 4. I was actually late on my first day. I also remember my mom buying me the biggest uniform as possible because she didn’t want to have to buy me a new one – that uniform still fits! Anyways, I remember walking in late on my first day and everyone staring at me. Since I was late, everyone was already in a circle and I just wanted to blend in. I was so nervous, but two of my classmates, Natalie and Ena, said hi and told me to sit next to them.

Tell us about your year ahead.

Well, I’m still deciding between two schools but I’ll be studying Kinesiology for sure. I eventually want to earn my Master of Physical Therapy. Wherever I decide to go, I’ll be living on campus.

I’ll miss the daily and weekly excursions, and I loved Week Without Walls (WWOW). Being outdoors with your friends when you’re not worried about the next exam, and we can just connect and feel closer.

What was it about Kinesiology?

Well, at first it was because my dad would have arm and hand aches and he would always mention that he hoped I would become a physical therapist. But later on, I realized it might actually be something I’d be interested in studying and becoming. I want to him help and people like him. As a career, it also really suits me. It’s one on one, connecting with a person to help them, and in a quieter setting. The program itself is also really interesting, and I’m excited to study and work in the field of human physiology. It relates to many components of my life, including Taekwondo, a sport that you’re bound to get injuries in. I want to help people with their injuries, learn how they injured themselves, and focus on helping one person at a time. When I help people, I don’t want to help someone through a computer screen or by sending in money. I want to help people directly. I like to know who I am working with, talk to them and build a relationship.

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

Gaining some independence. I want to meet new people and start fresh. Being at the same place for eight years is good but tough. I want to develop some new relationships with my classmates and professors. I’ll probably join some clubs, and I’ve already joined some university social media sites to help me meet people before I get there.

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

The people and just the general environment when you walk into the school. Academic-wise, it is stressful but it’s a stress that everyone is going through. You know you can find any teacher or classmate to lend an ear. Teachers don’t help just because they have to – they genuinely care. The International Baccalaureate is hard, and our teachers try to balance it out with ways to destress and even through council mental health events. My classmates and I even host destress events, like one before our exams. We hosted a get-together on the backfield. It was sunny, music was playing, and we enjoyed snacks and played some card games.

I’ll miss the daily and weekly excursions, and I loved Week Without Walls (WWOW). Being outdoors with your friends when you’re not worried about the next exam, and we can just connect and feel closer. I like being active, and WWOW really suits me because it gets me outdoors, it’s a change and it’s refreshing.

Any parting words of wisdom?

Try your best to live in the moment. Don’t be too stressed with what’s ahead or what has already happened. Try to focus on how you can balance yourself at the moment. Even if exams are stressful, try to still be balanced. I tried my best to do that, but I wasn’t perfect all the time. The heavy emphasis on Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) actually helps. I didn’t have to go out of my way to do nonacademic things. After you graduate, the importance of mental health will become clear. Don’t sit for too long.

Congratulations to our 2021 Graduates

The Class of 2021 is graduating from one of the most rigorous academic programs in the world, and they become graduates during one of the most challenging times. 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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