We're checking in with some of our 2019 Grads to see how they're adapting to their new, post-secondary lives.
Last year, 100% of our grads were accepted into post-secondary institutions, and for the next couple of weeks, we'll be highlighting some of their journeys.
This week, we're catching up with Matt McLaughlin. Matt transferred to Aberdeen Hall from a local public school in the 7th Grade. He quickly integrated into the Aberdeen Hall culture and by the time graduation rolled around, Matt was known as both a hard-working student and a regular on the Aberdeen Hall drama scene.
Matt is in his first year at UBC Okanagan where he is working toward a 2nd Year Placement in the Civil Engineering Program. Achieving 2nd Year Placement is competitive - so the bulk of Matt's attention is dedicated to his academics, but he still finds time to umpire PBL Baseball on the weekends (he hopes to enroll in the National Umpire Program next year) and is the Assistant Stage Manager for 'Glengarry Glen Ross' a production by a production by Fred Skeleton Theatre Company currently showing at the Creekside Theatre.
Here's what Matt had to say about his time at Aberdeen Hall and his transition into university life.
Tell us your Aberdeen Hall ‘Story’.
I started at Aberdeen Hall in 7th Grade. I was attending another public school closer to home, but the transition from Elementary School to High School was very hard on me. Conversely, the transition to Aberdeen Hall was seamless and I immediately fit right in. I attended from 7th Grade until graduation and I couldn't be happier with my overall experience!
What was your favourite part about attending Aberdeen Hall?
The teachers. Every single teacher had a personal interest in your success. If asked, teachers would stay for hours after school just to help you understand a concept and that is something that I feel can sometimes be taken for granted at the school. I will always appreciate everything that the faculty has done for me.
How would you describe a typical Aberdeen Hall Graduate?
University ready. Every single grad from my class was accepted into a post-secondary institution. I doubt there are any other schools in the valley, or the lower mainland, that can boast a similar achievement.
What did you do this summer?
I made the hardest decision of my life. I had to choose between attending the University of Alberta or UBC Okanagan. I ended up choosing UBC Okanagan and I absolutely love it so far! I also was able to spend a lot of time at the beach with my friends while contemplating.
Where are you attending post-secondary? What program are you currently in? What extracurriculars are you involved in (or what activities do you plan to be involved in later in the year)?
I’m attending UBC Okanagan working toward my 2nd Year Placement in the Civil Engineering Program. I'm not currently involved in many extracurriculars due to my course load but I have a study group who help keep me focused and who I’ve become very close with.
I also umpire PBL Baseball on the weekends (I hope to enroll in the National Umpire Program next year) and I’m currently the Assistant Stage Manager for 'Glengarry Glen Ross', a production by Fred Skeleton Theatre Company currently showing at the Creekside Theatre.
If you are away from home, what’s that like? What was your first day of University like? Your first week?
One of the benefits of attending UBCO is that I am able to live at home. That being said, I have some friends who want to get a place with me which I am very excited for. My first day and week of university was a complete blur. The transition is very fast but once you're in the rhythm, the daily routine can be quite enjoyable.
What advice would you give to someone in Middle or High School who was thinking about coming here but wasn’t sure?
Do it. I don't say this as merely an alumni, but someone who was in that exact position. It can be a scary but the rewards are well worth it. After spending six years at Aberdeen Hall and seeing both the public and private side of the education system, I can say that I have no regrets about my decision.