Get to Know Your Prefects: Preston ’16

Preston is from the United States. He has been involved in a number of things at Ridley including the 125th Anniversary Committee, the choir and Habitat for Humanity trips.

1. Why did you choose Ridley?
The main reason that I chose to come to Ridley was for the IB program. I was interested in taking on the challenge and learning in a different way. I knew that Ridley was implementing the IB program so that definitely drew me to the school.

2. Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
The greatest challenge at Ridley is time management. I had a busy schedule before coming to Ridley, but it was nothing in comparison to the schedule that I have had in grades 9-11. I felt slightly unprepared for my time management but I was ready for the work and life in the dorm.

Preston at the Ridley College school-wide 125th Birthday party

3. 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 am interested in pursuing international relations, hopefully at the George Washington University in Washington DC. I am very interested in foreign service and non-profit work and this a great program for that. I also hope to continue to play squash while in college.

4. Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
My favourite faculty member is Mr. Martinez. Mr. Martinez chaperoned my Habitat for Humanity trip to El Salvador and we really connected. This past year he taught my IB Spanish class and it was one of my favourite classes. He is definitely a faculty member that I can go to with problems and we often have funny conversations.

Preston volunteering in El Salvador
Preston volunteering in El Salvador

5. What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
Coming to Ridley in grade nine was a difficult challenge because I missed all my friends and family. I struggled to fit in at first and had trouble making good friends. It was challenging to feel comfortable but after a few months I began to feel at home. I made many friends and succeeded in and out of the classroom.

6. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
I feel that my greatest accomplishment at Ridley thus far was turning myself from a homesick grade nine student into the person I am today. I struggled to make friends at first and all I wanted was to go home. Instead, I immersed myself in Ridley by getting involved and working hard. I have since made many great friends and had great success in my schoolwork and extracurriculars.

7. How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has taught me how to properly manage time and balance my schedule. It is very difficult to make time for everything at Ridley but that teaches us how to stay organized for college and for our future careers.

8. What has been your favourite Ridley experience (thus far) and your favourite part of Ridley (chapel, rowing, your house)?
My favorite part of Ridley is definitely the houses. My house, Dean’s House, has really become a home for me. The friends that I have made over the last three years have become my family. We spend so much time together it causes complete strangers to become brothers. Having my brothers in my dorm with me makes the Ridley experience unforgettable.

Preston at camp
Preston at camp

9. What are the most important things you have learned from your time at Ridley?
The most important thing that I have learned from my time at Ridley is to value every part of life. These past three years have gone by incredibly fast and it’s important to realize what a blessing it has been to be at this school. I have learned many things both in and out of the classroom and have made amazing friendships. This experience has been unforgettable and it has taught me to always remember what a blessing it has been.

10. What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
I would advise prospective students to be open-minded during their time at Ridley. Ridley gives you the opportunity to try so many new things and meet people from all over the world. This can be scary but it is important to immerse yourself in this school and get the most out of it.