Introducing David Akinyemi ’18 –a Prefect who came to Ridley for the International Baccaurleaute Diploma Programme and discovered that the school had much more to offer him. Read how he has been inspired and is eager to inspire others during his Prefectship.
Why did you choose Ridley? Initially, I was looking for a school where I could obtain an IB diploma and fortunately, Ridley College offered much more than I sought for. I saw a school which had a strong community that was willing to develop and hold steadfast unto its motto; Terar Dum Prosim.
I also strongly appreciated how culturally diverse the school was and I felt like this was the school for me, knowing that I would be able to settle in very well coming in as an international student. This is why I chose Ridley.
Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? The fact that I had never visited the campus before resumption meant that I did not know exactly how it would feel to live within the school, but other than that, I felt quite prepared coming to Ridley because I had done some research on my own about the education, general living standards at Ridley and what they had to offer, so I was mentally prepared to come into the school.
Who is your favourite faculty member and why? It is rather difficult for me to pinpoint one member of the faculty who is my favourite because of how wonderful all of them have been to me, but nonetheless, one person who I can say I like particularly would be Mr. Doyle. I am not in any of his classes, but him being my Head of House has given me the opportunity to have a good number of interactions with him. I like Mr. Doyle because of his calm and composed nature and after spending one year with him in Arthur Bishop West, he has been able to make me feel like a genuine member of the family in the house. He also played a major role in helping me settle down quickly into the groove of things at Ridley College. He has been a great person to be friends with.
What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? I originally foresaw this challenge upon my arrival to Ridley and it certainly proved to be rather difficult for me. The Canadian weather is very different from Nigerian weather, as it tends to be warm all year round in Nigeria, so trying to adjust to a climate that had four different seasons was very challenging for me and there were a good number of occasions when I found the weather very cold.
In the process of acclimatization, I had to learn how to dress for different weather conditions and although the whole process seemed to be rather tasking, I am glad that I was exposed to a different environment. Now I have become more appreciative of the Canadian climate.
What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? I had been told before arriving at Ridley that the IB diploma would be very demanding. This obviously meant that I would have to work very hard to complete the programme and earn my diploma. The fact that I am still in the programme is an achievement for me because I have witnessed many people opt out of the programme due to the difficulties and challenges involved.
What has been your favourite Ridley experience? There are two of my Ridley experiences that I would classify as my favourites. The first one would be Dean’s Dance, mainly because of the high anticipation of students towards the event. I looked forward to it since the beginning of the year and I can say that I had a pretty fun time during the dance.
The second experience would be the Prefect speeches. Sitting down to listen to my fellow students speak to us about different topics was very enlightening and inspiring for me. I could look at some issues from a unique and different perspective and some of those messages drove me to get involved in a number of things that I would ordinarily not have thought about getting involved in.
What is your favourite part of Ridley life? I am a huge lover of sports and I love being able to watch Ridley students represent the school and compete against other schools. My favourite games to watch are the basketball games. They are usually very thrilling and exciting, plus they truly bring out the school spirit in us.
I also love mealtimes, especially dinner time, because this to me is when I have a great opportunity to interact with my friends and talk about many interesting things. I often look forward to this, as our conversations are very exciting.
What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am excited about three things. Firstly, I am happy that I will be in a position where I can serve as a mentor/role model to my fellow students, as guiding others and helping others develop is one thing I am passionate about. Secondly, I am excited about my Prefect speech because I will have the opportunity to talk about a topic that means a lot to me and hopefully inspire others to do great things. Finally, I am excited about Snake Dance because it is a time for us as a school to show our school spirit. I feel like it is an event that really brings us together as a family, plus it is a lot of fun for everyone. Being a Prefect means that I will get to be part of the process that ensures that it is as wonderful and as memorable as possible.
How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has exposed me to a lot of different cultures that I have now become more aware of and this certainly would go a long way in helping how I relate with others from different cultures. Ridley has also given me a high-quality education that will help me achieve my goals and grant me success in my career.
What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I plan on going to either the University of Waterloo or McMaster University to study mechatronics engineering. My preferred city to live in when I start working would be either Toronto or Los Angeles. I would like to work as a mechatronics engineer that would play a huge role in advancing our current world, technologically. I would also like to start up a record label that would be able to hire different musical artists so that I can help them fulfill their dreams. I would like to do this because music is a huge passion of mine.
What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? As much as possible, I would strongly advise any new student to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way because you never know when next such an opportunity would come by. Furthermore, I would encourage prospective students to make a lot of good friendships, because they would cherish the memories they made with their friends, years after they graduate from Ridley.
I would also urge prospective students to be of great service to other students as well as the greater community. The effort you put into improving the lives of the people around you goes a long way in ensuring that the school community progresses to where it needs to be, and you will also benefit yourself in doing so.
Finally, I would advise any prospective student to pay close attention to the speeches during chapel, as they all contain valuable knowledge and information that could potentially transform your life.