What’s your typical day look like?
I’ll wake up and get ready for school, and have a quick breakfast. Mornings are stressful. We have a puppy, an older dog, and both my parents work; so, it’s pretty hectic! I usually—okay, always—leave at least one or two minutes late. I got a car this year, but before that I took the bus for 11 years. I drive to school and then I have to search for parking. Then I have classes. At lunch, depending on what day it is, we’ll sometimes have a student council meeting or event. If not, I’m studying or trying to catch up, but I always leave at least 20 minutes to relax and talk with friends. After afternoon classes, I head home and have an early dinner and take a power nap if I can—I need them—then I’ll study or go to [water polo] practice. Practices can go as late as eleven o’clock, which means if I have a test the next day I still have to come home and study or review.
What was your favourite part of Grade 12?
The end? Just kidding. My favourite part was, after all the stress of waiting to hear back, was finally hearing back from universities. I was lucky to get into eight really awesome universities; it was hard to choose, but I felt grateful I got into so many. It was an amazing experience to finally be able to just relax… no more stressful waiting!
What the best thing you learned this year?
Not just Grade 12, but the whole Diploma Programme. In two years, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Most importantly, how to live a balanced life and handle my stress. I know now the ways I think the best and the ways I learn the best, and I’ll be able to apply that to my work and at university.
It’s about living a balance life so things don’t spiral out of control. I had water polo and school, and I was trying to excel at both; from that, I learned how to be persistent. No matter how hard it gets, you have to keep going. Eventually you will get out. You will hear back for those universities. It’s hard going through it, but it’s amazing once you realize the person you’ve become.
One thing I will say is that everyone is different. You have to figure out your own way. For me, that meant I had to find time to let my brain and my body relax. This could mean scheduling study breaks, instead of five hours of studying straight. I find time to go hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking... anything that gets me out and lets me relax so when I’m back at it my brain is ready to take on anything.
What was your favourite activity this year?
I have two things! My Internal Assessments (IA). I know it’s kind of weird. One was my Math IA and the other was my Chemistry IA, but all my IAs were pretty awesome! For Math, I compared the way to model a 5-metre water polo shot using vectors and quadratics. I took a video of myself throwing a ball, and then was able to map out the trajectory. The reason I found it fun was because it was one of those times when I really understood and enjoyed what I was doing because I applied it to something I love. In Chemistry, I determined the concentration of free chlorine in water samples. That was interesting to me. I went to pools I practice at and took samples from there.
They were both so personal. That’s what’s so nice about the IA’s. You get enjoyment from an otherwise difficult project… Wait! Okay, I want to talk about my History IA as well. It was about the Bengal Famine in 1943—that was interesting. A lot of my family members lived in India during the end of its British rule, but it was interesting to learn about something that happened earlier on, and about something in history that isn’t that well-known. I just really liked learning about it.
I’ve learned a lot about myself. Most importantly, how to live a balanced life and handle my stress. I know now the ways I think the best and the ways I learn the best, and I’ll be able to apply that to my work and at university.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
At this moment, I would say graduating. In water polo… well, this was two years ago, but we won the 2015 U16 National Championships. It was one of the first times I had to really push myself and train harder, while still balancing school. In 2014 we also won the Gold Medal at the Junior Olympics and last summer we won Silver.
What are you most excited about for university?
There are a few things. One thing is that I got into this program called Sciences One at the University of British Columbia (UBC). It’s an accelerated program for first-year university students. I’ve heard it’s difficult, but I enjoy learning science—I like learning in general—but science is my passion. I get to learn science in depth.
Another thing is living in residency. I’m so excited to meet new people. Also, UBC just built a new water centre, and I’m excited to practice in it! I’ll be playing varsity water polo at UBC.
What’s your favourite spot at Meadowridge?
As a little kid, it would’ve been the large oak tree by the playground. We used to play this weird game; I called it glug, glug. One person was ‘it’ and not allowed to touch the ground, so they’d have to stand on the oak tree and not touch the ground.
Nowadays, it’s probably the DP lounge. I don’t study there; I see it as a relaxing spot. It’s our chill space for sure. In Grade 12 you finally get the lockers in the back and the DP lounge as our space. Specifically, I like the blue, two-seater couch; it’s really comfortable. I just sit, and chill, and talk to friends.
What piece of advice would you give to next year’s Grade 12’s?
Another person’s story does not define your own. You may look up to—or compare yourself—to other people and have negative thoughts, but that’s wrong. Competition certainly can be a good thing, but don’t let someone else’s journey define your own. Change the tune: don’t let inspiration from someone else turn negative.
Describe Meadowridge in one word.
Community. You get to know students of all ages. I love the Kinderbuddy program! I love it so much.
What’s one thing about Meadowridge you should definitely know?
Mr. Burke’s not as scary as he seems. When I was younger—I’ve known him since Grade 1—he was this tall, imposing figure with a deep voice. It’s intimidating! But he’s so nice; he always comes and says hi to us. Once you get to know him, you figure out he has an incredible sense of humour, he’s extremely intelligent… actually, when I was in Grade 7, it was my lifelong goal to out-debate Mr. Burke. Once you get to know him you can have such interesting conversations with him. One thing I especially admire is he can get up and say an entire, amazing speech… where does it come from?! So yeah, when you meet him, don’t be scared. He’s an amazing person.
Describe your year in one word.
Suspenseful… waiting to hear back from universities. I didn’t think it would be, but it really was.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A neurosurgeon. I was in Grade 5 when I decided. It was actually because of our Unit of Inquiry, learning about the human body. I thought the brain was the coolest part of the whole body. Mr. Diniz was our teacher.
What’s your favourite thing about Meadowridge?
The teachers. Hands down. Since Grade 1, no matter who my teacher was, I’ve had at least five amazing experiences with each of them. From what I heard from my friends in water polo its rare for them to have such amazing experiences all the way from Grade 1.
One thing about Meadowridge teachers is that they’re really there to teach you. It’s not just a job. They’re more than willing to support you. I definitely learned that in DP. Specifically, Mrs. Bereza and Mrs. Just: they were my go-tos and they were so amazing.
What’s your favourite book?
Oh no… this is the wrong question to ask me! Can I say my agenda? Is that weird? This is really crazy. As one of my graduating gifts, my mom got me this really fancy tiffany-blue agenda. I actually freaked out. I was so excited. Lucy, my Kinderbuddy, got me an agenda too. Over the past 12 years I’ve come to rely on my agenda. I have to write things down. So, that is my favourite book—and I like to read a lot of things, so choosing my agenda is really, really hard.