Meet Brittany Ng ’18 – a Prefect who perfectly embodies the term ‘global citizen’. Read how the school has supported her and her dreams during her Ridley career.
Why did you choose Ridley? After living overseas for over 20 years, my parents had an opportunity to move back to Canada. We wanted to move to a city that was truly Canadian after living in such big cities – such as London and Hong Kong – but they also wanted to ensure that my siblings and I continued to have a great education. Ridley fit those requirements perfectly, as it had a very strong reputation internationally and is the only full IB continuum boarding school in Canada. Also, my uncles were Ridleians and their strong recommendations meant a lot for me in my decision to come to Ridley!
Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? Not at all! I didn’t know what to expect since my previous school had over 2,500 students, with over 800 students in the high school section. Not only that, but I was going to embark on my International Baccalaureate journey, changing from an American curriculum; I didn’t have any idea of what was to come. Even before stepping foot on campus the first day, I remember watching all the ‘Welcome to Ridley’ videos and going through all the information on the website to help prepare myself. However, once I stepped foot on the campus, it all came to life and each day brings new challenges. I realize you just have to be prepared to be challenged!
Who is your favourite faculty member and why? It’s hard to name just one faculty member, as everyone I interact with has helped and supported me in different aspects, both as a student and in general! I can truly say they all go out of their way to help you succeed at Ridley. Since I had to travel internationally quite frequently last year, due to my Hong Kong National Team commitments, I missed quite a lot of classes. However, all my teachers, from chemistry to economics, were extremely helpful and understanding in getting me ahead or catching up with work during my absences. Away from academics, my coaches always helped me develop my skills in the various sports, whether it’s a sport I’ve been playing for years or if it’s the first time I’ve played it.
One particular faculty member that I didn’t meet in the conventional classroom environment was Mr. Martinez, whom I met during my trip to El Salvador for the Habitat for Humanity trip during March break. Mr. Martinez really helped introduce and embed the local culture and history of his home country. He is always so excited and enthusiastic, even when he is back in the hallways of Ridley instead of El Salvador.
What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? The greatest challenge I have faced thus far at Ridley was transitioning to completely new curriculum – full International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Going into the IB program, I knew that it was going to be a rigorous ride with lots of demands that would stretch me academically. In addition to that, I needed to balance the co-curricular activities at Ridley, as well as any activities I had outside of school such as clubs and my international commitments that I still had. I travelled to Mexico, Japan, Victoria, B.C. and I also contracted pneumonia for two weeks as part of my ‘settling-in’ to the Canadian winters. My schedule seemed very overwhelming at the start, but with the skills, knowledge and good time management that I have acquired, it’s made it possible and very rewarding.
What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? Honestly, some days it has felt like my greatest achievement is just getting through the day and through this first year, but looking back, it has been such an enjoyable year. In all honesty, I feel that my greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley is being selected to be on both the IB Executive Student Council and as a Ridley Prefect just after my first year here. It is really rewarding and an honour to be selected for these important roles at Ridley, and I really feel that all my hard work and dedication paid off. Even though it’s been a challenging transition year for me in a new school environment, I feel like it’s all been worth the hard work – and of course, part of this accomplishment is also all the new friends that I made here!
What has been your favourite Ridley experience? There have been so many memorable experiences, even though I’ve been at Ridley for only 10 months! However, some of my favourite Ridley experiences have come just over the past couple of months, when I first got introduced to rugby by joining the First Girls’ Rugby team. I’ve always wanted to try the sport and loved it the moment I started playing. The highlight was the CISAA finals at Appleby. Even though the week leading up to the finals I sprained my ankle during one of the games, which resulted in my foot having to be in a boot and on crutches. But when the game day arrived, I was eager to bring home the championship with the team. I ended up playing in the final game and scoring a sick try for the team! Even though we didn’t win, we played like we’d never played before and the awesome team spirit is a memory that will stay with me forever
What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is the diversity in the school community. There is diversity in students I interact with, with includes students from all different grades. At my previous school, as the school was so big, it wasn’t possible to have that interaction. At Ridley, I really like how I can go into the dining hall and sit with a different group of people every day, whether they are in Grade 9 or in Grade 12, whether they are friends I met through my sports activities or my academic classes, whether they were from my service trip to El Salvador, my House or another House. Ridley provides so many opportunities to make friends of all ages and from all over the world.
What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? As a Prefect, I am most excited about leading the Ridley social and school spirit events. I have many new ideas to help further enhance the student life on campus. I was excited about participating in the Ridley events last year as a new student, and those experiences really shaped my view of the school. Now as a Ridley Prefect, I want to be able to provide my fellow Ridleians with new initiatives and fresh team spirit. We have a great Prefect team this year with many diverse and strong leaders who are passionate about their commitment to the school and I am very honored at the opportunity to work alongside them.
How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Although at this stage I have yet to decide my major or field of study, where I want to attend university or where I will be pursuing my career, one thing I am certain about is that I want to continue to explore the world and the different cultures. With Ridley’s IB Diploma Programme and most importantly, the diverse student population from all over the world, with different cultures, personalities, languages, traditions and stories of their background, Ridley has truly prepared me for this journey that I am just embarking on. My worldview continues to be broadened with every day and every experience I gain at Ridley, something that I will always be grateful for.
What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I’m planning on going to university in the fall and I’m really excited about this next step in my life journey. I haven’t decided on whether to go to university in Canada or the States, as both are very appealing in different ways. However, over the summer, I want to travel as much as I can with both my family and my friends, as this may be the only break I’ll have in the next four years! I would love to explore more of Asia and Europe, and experiencing as many different cultures as I can over the two months!
What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? I would tell prospective students that Ridley provides you with so many opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and try new things that you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience. Take advantage of that, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Build a strong network of diverse friends that will provide you with support throughout your years here and beyond. Carpe diem!