Cassidy is a bording student from Canada. She is on the rowing team at Ridley and is a member of Gooderham West House.
- Why did you choose Ridley?
I was looking for a school that would be able to accommodate both my rowing and academic interests, which I was struggling to achieve with at home. After taking a tour at Ridley, I knew it was where I wanted to go.
- Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
Not really! I had never left home or lived somewhere else without my parents for long periods of time – not even to an overnight summer camp! Needless to say, I was really nervous about becoming a full boarder. After my first year, I realized there was nothing to worry about. The girls in my house have become my family – you can always count on them and the adults in our house (Housemaster, Assistant Housemaster, etc.) to always be there for you. The houses are very welcoming and friendly; the homesickness doesn’t last too long here, so there’s nothing to be worried about.
- What are your plans after graduation? (i.e. university, college, gap year…degree of study, city you plan to live in, extracurricular pursuits)
After graduation I plan to attend university. Right now I would like to stay in Canada for post-secondary education. I’m really interested in going to either the East or West coast for schooling. As for which program I want to take, I’m still not certain, but I am interested in pursuing an education that involves Law and History.
- Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
There have been so many different faculty members that have positively affected my experience at Ridley thus far. Many teachers have inspired and encouraged me to push my limits, explore new ideas, and stick with things even when it’s something that I struggle with. However, I would have to say that my favourites would be the residential faculty members in my house. They are always there for you, support you, and help you out with whatever you need. They do so much for you and I have personally become very close with them.
- What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
I think that my greatest challenge has been adjusting to the fast-paced lifestyle here at the school. Coming from a semestered high school, it was quite different to switch to eight yearlong classes. Managing schoolwork with sports, activities, and a social life has been quite the adjustment, but it has really taught me how to prioritize and balance many things effectively.
- What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
Adjusting to the whole Ridley lifestyle has been my greatest challenge, which is why it has subsequently become my greatest accomplishment. The culture and vibe at the school is very different from what I was used to and it took longer to become accustomed to it. The schedule is quite full (with academics, athletics, activities, volunteer work, meetings, socializing, etc.) and adjusting to the fast pace is challenging at first, but becomes very rewarding in the end. It becomes easy to absorb everything you want out of the Ridley experience and feel like you’ve achieved something great by the end of the year.
- What has been your favourite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favourite part of Ridley?
My favourite part of Ridley so far has been my house. Initially, being a full time boarder was difficult; I wasn’t able to see my parents as often, and it was the first time I was living away from home. However the girls and residential members in my house have literally become my family away from home. Living in G-West has been one of the most amazing parts of being at the school.
- What are the most important things you have learned from your time at Ridley?
Ridley has taught me so many different things. It’s funny because I’ll get these moments here and there where I realize, “That’s definitely something I’ve learned from being at Ridley.” In so many ways, Ridley has taught me to be a better person. It’s taught me to push myself and not put limits on what I can do. It’s showed me how to be a better leader and a friend to everyone. Being at Ridley has made me realize the potential I have and inspires me to be a better person.
- What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
Challenge yourself, take the chance, and immerse yourself into the life here at Ridley. It’s a decision you won’t regret.