Valedictory Speech 2017

On Thursday 7th September, St David's College held its forth annual Leavers' Ceremony at St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral. This celebrated the achievements of those students who attended the College during academic year 2016-2017.

We also recognised our new scholarship winners: students who have just begun their journey with us, who have demonstrated exemplary academic achievements, or display commendable contributions to their community.  

During the ceremony, former Drama, Geography and Psychology student, Emily Farley, delivered a fantastic Valedictory speech. Here is what she had to say about her time at St David's:

It’s insane to think how fast my two years at St David’s Catholic College have gone, despite feeling as if I’ve matured and built relationships with staff and students over many more years than that. It’s that accepting atmosphere that’s allowed me to develop such close and trusting bonds, as well as improving my confidence and independence, which will guide me as a young adult, and I am forever grateful for that.

I knew from my very first visit to the College, for a taster day in the summer holidays of 2015, that this is where I was meant to study. I was so enthralled by the enthusiasm each teacher brought to their lessons, mine being Psychology, Geography and Drama, showing a clear passion for their speciality which was immediately enticing, allowing me to feel at home and welcomed. 

Similarly, the students’ importance cannot be forgotten. The energy that filled the College that taster day was unfathomable. In and out of classes, the students made sure that everyone was enjoying themselves and getting involved, which is extremely important in our growing society, showing how kindness can build a character – I can vouch for this, as that day made me unbelievably more confident before even beginning my studies, and this amazing atmosphere by staff and students only extended throughout the two years. 

During the anguish of revision, I could always rely on support from my teachers and the Learning Support Centre, clearly demonstrating the caring and supportive nature the College provides, with many of my friends expressing their thanks for all the support that was there in those difficult times. Without that incredible support, I doubt I could have achieved what I did.

My favourite memories by far were created in the Drama and Performing Arts Department where, as cheesy as it sounds, we were one huge family. During the devising process of our practical pieces, it really helped create this solid bond between us which led to multiple occasions where we all met up as a class outside of College time. I believe that this also greatly helped us during our performances, as we all had this chemistry that extended to our characters, creating something so special for us and the audience.

While College allows us to extend our knowledge, push our boundaries, learn new skills and achieve our grades, we must remember that this experience has helped us grow as people along the way. It is a time for friendship; both the happy and the tough times in between, as in the end, each and every moment has shaped us into the people we are now. And I know, that every single person I’ve met in this College, staff and students, I will never forget, as we’ve all shaped each other and for that I am grateful.

As we progress further into our lives, whether that be university, work, apprenticeships, or gap year, we will remember how we got there. On behalf of all of us, thank you St David’s for being supportive through social and educational challenges, and helping us grow into young adults who are mature, independent, and ready to face the challenges that today, tomorrow, and the future may bring.