Tim Tan '20

School & Program
St Andrews, Canadian Medical Program

Meadowridge Student Since
Grade 6

Born in
Beijing, China

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I like to swim, I like to go to the gym, and I like to read. I started swimming when I was in Grade 1, and – besides having to stop for two years when I broke my arm – I’ve swam ever since. I actually started the first High School Swim Team at Meadowridge and we took home the Provincial Banner last year. As for reading, I like fiction. Sometimes I’ll read until three in the morning – especially during quarantine! Life is a little boring, so I read. At school, I also played badminton and ran track.

How did you first find yourself at Meadowridge?

My cousin studied here, actually. I came to Canada in Grade 6 and enrolled at Meadowridge that same year.

Tell us about your year ahead.

I’ll be going to Scotland for a Canadian Medical Program.

What was it about Medicine? About St Andrews?

I actually came to Canada planning to go to the US for university so, until Grade 10, I was preparing for my ACT. My mom wanted me to study in the States, but I never found the motivation for it. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t do well. I bombed my ACT test. That’s when I talked to my best friend, who said he was going to the United Kingdom for med school, and I figured, “let’s try it.” This program is great because it’s a Canadian program so I’ll have a competitive edge. This program was also competitive: they only take 20 students each year. It’s neat because we’ll be studying with Scottish students but we, the Canadian students, have our own counsellors.

I think our school is unique because we are all so tight and everyone knows everyone. I always knew people in the grades above me and in the grades below me. It’s good.

As for Medicine, I never really liked school until Grade 8. It was once I understood English that it got better. And I got better in Science. That snowballed, thanks to good teachers. Ms. Bolyard sparked my interest. It’s weird to say, but I was… I never really knew I wanted to go into medicine until a year ago. It was after I did my applications. I was volunteering, and it made me realize I wanted to help people. As a doctor, I can help people but also be competitive. As a doctor, you have to withstand pressure and I’m capable of that.

How did you find out you’d be going to St Andrews?

At first, I was panicking a bit because some friends got offers before me. My interviews were two months after my friends! When he got his university offer, I still hadn’t done my interviews. So I was happy when I found out I got in.

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

It’ll be a different lifestyle because you get to live away from your parents. I’ll be on the other side of the globe. It’ll take a bit to get used to, and it’s scary, but I’m looking forward to it. I actually only know how to cook one thing! [laughs] So I’ll have to learn.

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

My teachers and classmates. Without my friends, I wouldn’t be here. Without the help from all my teachers, I wouldn’t be getting the grades I am today. I think our school is unique because we are all so tight and everyone knows everyone. I always knew people in the grades above me and in the grades below me. It’s good.

As a doctor, I can help people but also be competitive. As a doctor, you have to withstand pressure and I’m capable of that.

Any parting words of wisdom?

Keep your eyes on the prize, but don’t forget the ones around you. The IB made me focus on school, and sometimes I’d focus less on my friends. Friendships and relationships are just as important as grades.

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