This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.
Student Life
Chapel Talks

Powering Through

By Jacob ’26
Good Morning. Today Tomás and I are going to be speaking with you about the values that have helped us most at St. Albans. An important value for me is “powering through.” As we enter the fourth quarter, the workload on all of us will increase a decent amount. And though it may be easier to slack off and be lazy, you don’t want to end your school year with a feeling of regret based on your lack of effort. Trust me, I’ve been there before, and it is kind of a mood killer.
I will start with a positive example from early in my time at STA. One of the most significant times when I powered through was the summer before B Form. I had gone to a summer camp, and like many sleep-away camps, this one lasted six weeks. My parents expected me to have done some summer reading while I was at camp. I had not done any of my summer reading, and it was early August. I had some time to read, but it would be a lot of reading in a small amount of time. I sat down and wrote myself a schedule with page requirements that I would have to meet each day. That one month, I think I read more than all of the earlier months combined. This was a great example of strapping down and powering through.
But relying on your own motivation doesn’t always work. Back in the spring of 2020, when Covid sprang up out of nowhere, it worried a lot of people. Covid was definitely a burden on all of us, and the last thing on everyone’s mind was, “How am I going to do my work?” Personally, my time was more invested in video games than in schoolwork. On that first week that we came back for virtual learning, I remember waking up at 8:55 am, and just barely making it to class on time. Most of that three months of online school is a blur to me. I remember most doing Spanish homework with much resentment. But what I ultimately told myself was that the work had to be done, and it was not worth my time to save it for later. One of the only other things I remember about Online school was how Rev. Chadwick still managed to run chapel even with everyone at home. And how teachers still managed to teach class with everyone at home, in all sorts of conditions. This to me, was an incredible show of powering through, and even though I did not apply myself as well as I could have, I see how much effort some people put into that time and how those same people were proud of the outcome. 
The author of the book of Hebrews talks about how we as a community can cheer each other on when one of us feels like we’re lagging: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us….”
That quotation brings us back to today and the fourth quarter. I imagine that most of you are still trying to remember how to wake up on time, I know I am. And even though the weather is great and all you want to do is run around, you need to focus on what is going on now, don’t worry about your next quiz or how much homework you have to do tonight. Cheer each other on. Look to others who have impressed you in the past by persevering. Focus on powering through to the next day and repeat until school is over, and all of your wishes from that time in class can come true. But until then, focus on powering through, and most importantly, submit your assignments on time. Thank you.

Editor’s note: Form II Vestry Members Jacob ’26 and Tomás ’26 teamed up to give back-to-back chapel talks on April 6, in Lower School chapel. Click on the hyperlinks to read both “Powering Through” and “Cherishing Every Moment.”
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.