Interview with Appleby College Alum, Dawson Meloche
Dawson Meloche, alumnus of Appleby College, shared his views on the school's rich extracurricular offerings and outstanding academic curriculum. He praised the inclusive community, faculty-student relationships, and unique boarding experience in Grade 12. Dawson credits Appleby for his smooth transition to university, emphasizing the school's role in fostering well-rounded individuals ready for real-world challenges.
Highlights from the interview
What I appreciated the most about Appleby College was the wide array of experiences. I had the opportunity to try things that I never would have been able to try if it were not for Appleby. I had the chance to go on service trips to Nepal and Costa Rica, to try new sports, like squash, and to get involved with community outreach and outdoor education. I could try winter camping for the first time. And there was just a massive selection of extracurriculars. Transitioning into university, I really appreciate having had all those experiences.
I've realized, after making the transition into university and meeting many new people, how incredible the academics were at Appleby, including the courses you can take but also the experiences beyond the classroom. That outdoor education, which can now naturally teach many different leadership skills in an environment that is a lot more flexible than a structured classroom environment, is really something. It's stuff like that, and that massively diverse experience in all areas of school life, that I realized in my personal experience, was quite different from other people's experiences that I've talked to in university who reflect on their high school experiences.
The strongest bond that you can find at Appleby is the close relationship between students and faculty. I think that's something you don't always get in high school, and you certainly don't get it much in university. It's something that Appleby really prides themselves on, with various components contributing to it, one of which is the gradual trust and freedom. Each year at the school, you get more and more responsibility, which mirrors the gradual increase of freedom and trust you experience as you grow older. This connection between boarding students and day students is also a unique addition to the Appleby community, fostered through numerous spirit days, events, and activities. Inclusivity emerges as the highest value, creating a welcoming and nurturing environment for everyone, regardless of their interests and personality traits.
The most shocking part of the whole process was when my parents found out that Appleby has mandatory boarding in Grade 12. That experience eliminates the stress associated with transitioning to university residence life, making me feel more comfortable and prepared for the next stage of life. This option starts as early as grade nine and attracts a lot of international students. In the final year, local students join the international ones, fostering a strong sense of community like nothing I've seen before.
The transition from high school to university is significantly smoothened with Appleby's guidance and preparation from the early stages. From grade nine onwards, guidance counselors work with students to prepare them for the upcoming transitions, making the process much more comfortable and less daunting. This proactive approach greatly shaped who I am today, helping me to navigate the considerable leap from high school to university with more confidence and readiness.
Initially, I was a bit rigid and perhaps stubborn when I first joined Appleby, carrying a narrow perspective of what the school experience would be like. But as I started to embrace the opportunities with an open mind, I realized the depth and richness of experiences Appleby had to offer. This shift in perspective was a game-changer, allowing me to fully take advantage of the unparalleled opportunities presented at Appleby, which goes far beyond any conventional high school experience.
The number one reason I would recommend Appleby is its effectiveness in preparing students for life after high school, offering real-life experiences that resemble the future working and university environments. It provides an opportunity to try new things and fosters well-rounded individuals. I would urge prospective families to consider the unique aspects of Appleby and align them with their values and expectations. My biggest advice to new students is to embrace the opportunities early on and approach the journey with an open mind, as it can broaden their horizon and unveil numerous prospects. It’s essential to take full advantage of everything Appleby has to offer.