Ray Luo '22

School & Program
University of Waterloo, Mathematics

Meadowridge Student Since
Grade 7

Born in
Beijing, China

Tell us a bit about yourself.

There are a lot of things I like to do. I enjoy cooking and take it upon myself to cook up delicious meals from cuisines around the world, though Chinese would be my specialty. Top three dishes? Probably Szechuan spicy broiled fish, Japanese breaded pork chops, and handmade noodles. Whenever I eat at a restaurant and enjoy something, I find a recipe for it and make it at home. Of course, there will always be some adaptations you need to make but that’s part of the challenge. I also enjoy playing card games online. It’s what I do to relax. In cards, I like that there’s some probability, some strategy and some luck involved. I also enjoy reading comic books. When my family first moved to Canada, my mom would pick me up from the library after work. She wanted me to be reading novels, but I’d always sneak away to the comic book section and sneak back to the novels before she picked me up. That’s where my love of it grew. My favorite series? I’d have to say the Avengers and New Avengers. Finally, this is going to sound nerdy, but I also like solving math problems. At Meadowridge, you have to be well-rounded—it’s sort of a CAS requirement—but I tend to be naturally that way. But when I get into something, I try to really get into it.

How did you first find yourself at Meadowridge?

After starting at a nearby middle school, my parents felt like they couldn’t communicate with the teachers. It was also a much bigger community, a lot like China where there are about 50 students in a class and the teachers don’t know anyone’s name. My parents and I liked the idea of a smaller community, and that pushed us to seek out Meadowridge School. After one of my friends moved here, we followed shortly after. Also, when I started in Grade 7, I was really into Harry Potter. When I heard about Meadowridge and the House Systems, I got excited and that drove me here.

When I came to Meadowridge, there were a few things to get used to. First of all, uniforms—which I hadn’t worn since living in Beijing—and experiences. During my first Week Without Walls trip, we went hiking. I made a lot of my first friends there, actually. The teachers were also different, much more passionate and unique, and you could feel their personalities more. I remember my first year taking part in a ‘flipped classroom’ with Ms. Hook. I thought it was a brilliant idea. There’s something to be said about having the courage to try out new things and experiment.

Tell us about your year ahead.

In my first year at the University of Waterloo, I’ll be mostly doing more general courses. I did get a chance to tour the campus before the pandemic, and I’m looking forward to being on campus. I loved the environment. It’s great and quite beautiful with more modern architecture. It’s also a smaller community, like Meadowridge, which is something I was looking for.

Meadowridge brings together people from different ages and backgrounds and has them interact with each other every day. It’s not an experience I think you’ll find in a lot of other places.

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

The new friends that I’ll make. When you get to university, you find people who share the same passions as you. It’ll be exciting and scary at the same time. I’m excited to live on my own, since I’ll have some more independence and the freedom to try different things. Some people are afraid of the daily things—things like laundry and cooking—but, well, I’ve been doing that regularly. I’m just excited!

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

I will miss all the friends I have made at Meadowridge, connections that will last the rest of my life. I’ll miss walking down the halls and hearing “how are you?” or “good morning” and exchanging those daily greetings every day. Meadowridge brings together people from different ages and backgrounds and has them interact with each other every day. It’s not an experience I think you’ll find in a lot of other places. I will also miss being in my community. I’ll miss festivals in the park and fireworks during Canada Day. There will be these same types of events in Waterloo, but they won’t be the same without my family and friends with me.

I’ll miss my robotics team. I’ve been a part of the Robotics Club since its initiation. I was one of the first members of the First Lego League (FLL) and, when First Tech Challenge (FTC) started, I was one of the first members again. I started as a member, became a builder, and most recently, managed a team. I managed a team of very motivated people with different abilities. We call it “robotics,” but it’s more of a mini-company. On the team, you work with people in charge of promotion, fundraising, events… it takes many people and talents. My team was called DPS (which stands for “DP Stress,” because we are all Grade 12 students and stressed out). I’ll miss working with Ms. Mohoruk and Dr. Stevensen in the Robotics Club.

Favourite Meadowridge Memory.

One memory I will always cherish is my experience at Indian Arm. We did that right before COVID hit. I was in Grade 10, and it was our last trip as a grade. We did have a few small trips here and there, but this was our most memorable one. I remember going up the waterfall with some teachers and students. The sights were absolutely stunning. Although it was raining and horrible and everyone was complaining, occasionally the rain stopped and the sun came through for a few brief moments.

I’ll also always remember my last tournament with the FTC. We went there as a team and did okay. We didn’t do the best, but our team did the best we could, and I’m proud of us for that. We all had a terrific experience and bonded with each other and the other teams at the tournament. We left a healthy and sustainable community for future students to join FTC, I think.

Making the most out of Meadowridge – what wisdom can you pass on?

When you want to do something, you need to make a plan. With any good plan, the first step is never to achieve your goal. The first step is to find out what you can do and what the people around you can do. Then, you can work out a way to attain what you want. Life won’t always show you what you want—you’ll have to pick away at it slowly and make your own path. Sometimes, it may seem like you’ve hit a dead-end or met a challenge you can’t overcome, but that’s rarely the case. Look at the resources you have and can obtain, and the rest is just planning. 

At the start of the year in Chemistry, I was pretty bad at the subject. I was terrible at labs and tests. So, I looked at the things I had at my disposal; writing labs was never my strong point—writing alone was never my strong point—so I decided what I could do, at the very least, was to ensure the information and formatting was good. With the help of my parents, I found a Chemistry tutor and managed to bring my mark up with the exams and consistent lab writing. Now, Chemistry is the course in which I have my highest predicted mark.

Any final thoughts?

I would like to thank my parents for all the support they’ve shown me and the empathy they have had for me. Their high school experience was quite different from my own, so I know it couldn’t always have been easy to relate to me, who was in a completely different situation. They’ve done their best to help me and given me the space I needed to grow.

Congratulations to our 2024 Graduates

The Class of 2024 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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