Chloe Bissell '20 came to Vancouver in 2014 with her family after her parents fell in love with the city on a North American tour. Moving here from the United Kingdom, Chloe was rightly nervous on her first day, but that nervousness soon went away. "I was scared on my first day but going to Week Without Walls in the second week really helped. That’s where I made my friends. Things fell together pretty fast after that – school, teachers, friends – and within the first month I had really settled," she recalls.
Chloe Bissell '20
School & Program
Western University Ivey Business School, Media Studies and Business
Meadowridge Student Since
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a big music fan, both listening-to and playing it. I started playing the violin when I was four and the piano when I was six, but had to quit when we moved from the UK – our piano was so old that it would’ve broken during the move! I’m also a huge hockey fan, but I also love going to concerts. I’ve been to a crazy amount. I’m also one of the first (and last!) students to have joined DP Music, which is a really cool, well-rounded course. We looked at everything from performance and composition to history and world music. I learned and absorbed so much with Mr. Noble.
Also, if you consider binge-watching a talent, I can watch a Netflix show in days. If you can binge Game of Thrones in ten days during finals week, that’s a talent.
How did you first find yourself at Meadowridge?
My dad visited Vancouver on some big North American tour. My parents fell in love with the city, so they came home and asked if we wanted to move and I said “okay!” My brother had been in the IB Programme at his old school, so we researched local IB schools, toured a few, and decided to come to Meadowridge. I was scared on my first day, but going to Week Without Walls in the second week really helped. That’s where I made my friends. Things fell together pretty fast after that – school, teachers, friends – and within the first month I had really settled.
Tell us about your year ahead.
I’m going to Western for a dual degree in Media Studies and Business. I got advanced entry to Ivey, into a five-year program that you come out of with two degrees. It is such an interesting and unique program that will also give me an edge. I’m excited to be studying in Ontario because there is more opportunity to get involved in sports than out west, so I hope to work or intern with the athletics department at the school.
What sparked your interest media studies and business?
When I became a hockey fan, I started interacting with the social media presence of different teams. I became fascinated in seeing how media affects the distribution of sports. How media affects society is something that really interests me – and, even more specifically, how media affects sports. When I first got interested in hockey, I started following the Cancucks on Twitter and I saw an entire fan base contributing to discussions and interacting with one another. I then started looking other NHL teams’ accounts and seeing the marketing techniques they were using. That sparked the interest.
I was scared on my first day, but going to Week Without Walls in the second week really helped. That’s where I made my friends. Things fell together pretty fast after that – school, teachers, friends – and within the first month I had really settled.
What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
I’m super excited to live alone. I am very close with my family, but besides a foreign exchange, have never had any real independence. I’ve been at Meadowridge for seven years now. It’s time for me to meet people from different places and from different backgrounds. I’ve only been to London a couple of times, and I don’t know much about it, but I know that it’s the perfect geological middle between Detroit, Buffalo, and Toronto – all cities with NHL teams! – so I will definitely watch Detroit and Buffalo for sure, but Toronto tickets are outrageously expensive. [laughs]
What will you miss most as you move onto the next chapter?
I think my class. There’s 44 of us, and we may not all be really close friends, but we share a bond. There’s a mutual respect we have for each other. We get along, and we all genuinely wish to see each other succeed. Even if I’m sitting on the couches in the DP lounge and I’m next to someone I don’t speak to much, we’ll still have a conversation. I’ll miss that a lot.
When we went to Loon Lake this year for Week Without Walls, we did meditation and mindfulness. It was in the evening, in the gym, and we were all breathing slowly. It was quiet… so quiet you could hear some people snoring! They fell asleep. So the instructor had those of us who were awake gather in a circle and we shared a bit with each other. I can’t remember who said it first, but they said they wanted to make the most out of this year, out of the time they had left. Suddenly we were all crying. It was emotional to realize we wouldn’t see each other every day after this year.
Any parting words of wisdom?
Don’t focus on grades too much. I think we have it ingrained in us that it is the most important thing we do, but what will happen will happen. Grades aren’t everything, so don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Go out with friends instead of studying that one extra night. You should actually enjoy the time you’re in the Diploma Programme, otherwise you’ll be graduating – or stuck in quarantine – and realize you didn’t do all the things you wanted to. I did a good job of balancing time with my friends with school.
I can’t remember who said it first, but they said they wanted to make the most out of this year, out of the time they had left. Suddenly we were all crying. It was emotional to realize we wouldn’t see each other every day after this year.
I think I was able to do that because I formed good study habits early on in the younger grades. I found what works for me. I remember there was one week where I basically got four bad assignments handed to me back to back. It was a terrible week, and my first and only breakdown at Meadowridge, but I realized it was because I had put so much pressure on myself to get good grades, and I wasn’t studying or focusing because of it. Be balanced.