Senior Megan Matus has lived in a lot of different places.
First, she was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. She moved throughout Canada another six times until she reached Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada for her sophomore and junior years of high school, though both were at different schools.
If there’s one thing she’s gotten good at, it’s adjusting to new places.
“I’ve switched from school to school every single year. I haven’t spent more than one year in high school,” Matus said. “I’ve had to adjust my life a lot.”
She’s found that her experience with moving has made it easier for her to make friends and adapt.
“I have also become much more resilient because I’ve had to adapt to different lifestyles and communities my whole life.”
In one such town, Tuktoyaktuk, Canada, it was so cold that trees didn’t grow, and they only had sunlight for one week per year, Matus said. However, there were some highlights.
“I was actually in a reality TV show called ‘Madrileños por el Mundo Norte de Canadá,” Matus said. The show, which translates to “People from Madrid Around the World in Northern Canada,” focused on people living in places vastly different from Spain. Matus’s mother, who is Spanish, was one of the featured residents.
“That whole experience was just crazy because it wasn’t even like, ‘Oh, two months of summer.’ It was like, ‘you have to wear snow gear every day,’” Matus said.
Matus came to Sacramento and Country Day in 2021.
“We were going to go from this small town to Montreal, but we were going to do that well into the school year, and I didn’t want that because it was my senior year. That would have been just horrendous,” Matus said.
After she arrived, she stayed with senior Dylan Breen’s family. Their families are close friends. Once Matus’ mother told Breen’s mother about the problem, she gladly invited Matus over to stay at their house, Matus said.
More recently, she has been living with the Cook family.
While Matus was originally worried about stereotypes she’d seen in American movies and shows, she soon realized they weren’t the case.
“It’s a huge stereotype around the world that the U.S is full of guns and violence and, you know, while it’s a place of opportunity, it’s also a place of violence. When I came here though, I realized that it was the complete opposite,” Matus said.
Matus quickly settled into an active social life.
In Canada, besides a few close friends, she’d never considered herself very popular. She was pleasantly surprised when she was wholeheartedly accepted by the student body, she said.
Junior Karabelo Bowsky, who met Matus in her advisory class soon after the start of the 2021-2022 school year, was one of the new friends Matus easily made.
“One day we were just like, ‘hi, my name is this,’ and then the next day we were at each other’s houses,” Bowsky said.
Bowsky’s first impression of Matus was that she was quiet and reserved. Her opinion quickly changed when she got to know her better.
“We both want to be successful and do something artistic. But I’m much more of a behind-the-camera person. She’s more of an in-front-of-the-camera person. So it’s like, same place, just different perspective,” Bowsky said.
While Matus has a general idea of the future, she’s not sure of the specifics.
She got accepted to McGill University and her father, Tom Matus, is glad she’s coming back home.
“I love that she got into McGill University because we live right beside it. We’re looking forward to her coming home,” he said.
Megan is considering several options for her future career.
“I kind of want to start making music, and I’d love to be in show business,” Megan said. “When I was younger, I was in plays and choirs until I was like that’s not realistic, which is really sad. I’m the kind of person where my brain wants to be a lawyer but my heart wants to be an actress or a singer.”
Tom Matus proudly described his daughter as down-to-earth.
“When I come home, even though I might’ve been gone for a while, she seems the same as she was when I left. She’s stable that way, you know, a stable person. She’s like an anchor,” Tom said.
Megan’s biggest role models are her parents, she said.
“My dad has always been a persevering person, and if he wants to do something, he puts his mind to it. I think that’s really amazing,” she said. “And my mom stuck by him her whole life. The loyalty that she has is something I definitely want to inherit in my life growing up.”
Her worldview has helped her support the people in her life.
“I like to be the person that is joyous. I like to be the person that lifts other people’s moods up,” Matus said. “I really do care a lot about the people in my life.”