When Megan Pedersen arrived at BCSS as a Grade 8 student, little did she suspect the adventure that was before her. Over the next five years, she seized every opportunity that came her way to fully experience her time in high school.
“I didn’t expect to ever leave this school,” she explains. “I thought I’d just go from Grade 8 to Grade 12 in this school. I never would have guessed that just the next year I would go to Pen High and the year after that I would go to Oliver and the year after that I would be in Japan. It was a hectic five years.”
She’s taken classes through home schooling as well as classes online. She’s even taken classes in Japanese.
She hopes to be accepted at SFU this fall, the only school in B.C. that offers a Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience. Her ultimate goal is to attend medical school specializing in anesthesiology.
Megan said she’d gotten interested in psychology as a Rotary exchange student in Japan during Grade 11. She admits that she’d slacked off on studying the language before her trip so when she first arrived there she had to fall back on body language and speech inflection.
It was comparable to an immersion course in behavioural psychology. “In Japanese you speak very monotone – you never do highs and lows like you do in English. So when I first started learning Japanese I would be talking to them and they would look at me like – are you mad at me?”
In the end she hired three tutors to cram Japanese into her head for a week, and her advice for anyone else who is going on an exchange is to study the language before going.
Megan comes from an artistic family. Her granddad has an art gallery in Oliver and her father and cousins are artists. “I kind of got raised around art so I got interested in it. I do everything from realism to painting to digital, online and such. I really enjoy art.” Her artistic talent was recognized when she took first place in the Oliver Annual Art Show in the Emerging Artist Under 19 category.
She also lists writing as one of her favourite hobbies. “I love writing, from poetry to essays to prose of any sort. “
She’s been active in various capacities at every school she’s attended. In Grade 10 she was part of the girl’s field hockey team from South Okanagan that went to the provincials. She’s volunteered for the Yearbook Club, served on Student Council president in Grades 8 and 9, and is involved with BCSS Spirit Club this year when she can find time. She’s got a full load of courses this year though, including several online courses to make up for those she missed while in Japan.
Megan is planning to work over the summer. She’s already got an impressive resume. In fact, she gave up her job at Buy- Low in Osoyoos so she could focus on her classes during her final year of high school.
If she is accepted at SFU for the fall term she plans to move there right away so she can secure an on-campus job.
If she doesn’t get into SFU this fall she plans to take a year off and move to Penticton with some close friends and try again after a year.
Megan has gained a wealth of experience during her high school years, experiences that will benefit herself, her community and her future employers for years to come.