Good Morning. We just heard from Jacob about powering through especially nearing the end of the year. It can be hard for us, but we must push on. I will be speaking with you about a value I hold dear, and that is cherishing every moment of your Lower School journey. I, like many others, started my Lower School journey in C Form. I was one of many who was lucky enough to already know many of my classmates because we came from Beauvoir. C Form is quite the year for most students: more homework than you’ve ever had, real tests and quizzes, tougher teachers, and last but not least, the opportunity to make many new friends. The only problem with C Form and every other year is how quickly they go by. The day I left the C Form hallway was a bitter-sweet moment; I was excited to be moving on to B Form to keep working. On the other hand, it felt – and still feels like – just yesterday that I walked up to Mr. Chandler, shook his hand, and with my other hand clutched my roller backpack, which I had vigorously insisted my mom buy for me.
In C Form, it is easy to get distracted by your work and lose all sense of how far you’ve gone into the year. That’s why it is important to slow down and appreciate the people in your midst. As you go down the floors from year to year, the forms just keep getting harder and harder; you realize that you miss important events in your life because you were studying for a test or stressing about an assignment. The further you get in your academic journey at STA, the more pressure you will feel to succeed. The message of this talk isn’t to hang out with friends instead of your homework; rather, it is not to get so consumed with work that you forget to prioritize your friendships. The friendships that you make now are ones that will last you a lifetime and will help build you up as a St. Albans man.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus talks about the importance of putting love and friendship first. The night before he dies, he says to his disciples, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
This passage from John speaks to us about how, ideally, friends will always have your back when you need them. Whilst I don’t expect you to lay down your life for your friends, you should interpret it as merely standing up for your friends in a moment when they may need you to be there for them.
Relationships are what build you up and define who you are in your journey. As I said, I have found that school only gets harder as time goes on. You want the right people by your side to be there for you when you score badly on a test or maybe had to turn in a homework assignment late because you forgot about it. I can tell you from experience that it helps so much for your friend to merely say, “It’s all good, you’ll crush the next one,” or before a big test for them to say, “You got it.” In 10 years, I may not be able to remember the exact date of the Battle of Dunkirk, but I will remember the great relationships and the great times I had as a Lower School boy. So, in conclusion, cherish the time you have with your friends and be a friend to those who may need one because you never know how much of an impact it may make on them.
As the great writer, Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 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