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An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 – 12

School co-president Trinity Smith ’23 gives a talk at Commencement 2023.
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Trinity Smith ’23

School co-president Trinity Smith ’23 gave this talk at Commencement 2023

Before I start, I wanted to thank all of my family and friends that came to support me this weekend. Especially my mom, dad, and sister for their unconditional love throughout my time at St Andrew’s. I also want to wish my advisor, Mrs. Duprey, a happy birthday—you have truly been my “home away from home” and I am so thankful to have had you by my side by my side. 

As I sat down last week to write, I couldn’t help but return to my first day on campus. It was a chaotic day: after maneuvering through heaps of luggage on dorm, after meeting my (now) roommate of four years for the first time, and after meeting the people I would live with for all of high school, I was encouraged by my senior big sister to introduce myself yet again on the Front Lawn. As she explained: this was an opportunity to get to know even more people beyond the friends I had already made on dorm. But to the ears of freshman-year me, venturing from the newfound comfort of Pell Dorm to an unexplored lawn of students who seemed to already have found their group of friends was not only peculiar but daunting. However, like all of us, I was convinced to approach the Front Lawn and introduce myself to every person I saw, even those I didn’t think I would be close friends with. I joined in games I’ve never played before, like spike ball, and joined students who were completely different from me but would soon and unexpectedly become my biggest supporters and friends. 

While the details of every St Andrew's student’s first day may differ, the lessons from move-in day remain the same. It is here where we first learn to take risks—how to step outside of what you already know and open your most authentic self to new people or experiences. 

Even more, these moments are what set the stage for all the connections we build thereafter. It is this skill that allowed me to turn my roommate double of two years into a roommate triple of two years, and allowed me to find the best lab partners, study buddies, lift partners, and unanticipated friends. It is this skill that allowed me to befriend faculty who have pushed me to explore subjects I now want to pursue in college or who have reminded me that I am capable of excellence. 

From our first day, St. Andrew’s teaches us that the most fruitful opportunities are not always the ones that are most obvious or comfortable to you, but the ones that appear where you least expect. These relationships aren’t always our closest friends and they aren’t always at the center of our St Andrew’s journeys, but these are the people who unexpectedly walk beside you along the way.  

For the underclassmen, do not stall in what is comfortable. Seek discomfort and open yourself up to unanticipated connections. 

Remember what it means to take risks and approach an environment you have never seen before. 

To the Class of ’23, I feel lucky saying that we have done that. We have embraced seasons of new faculty and students year after year. We have built life-changing connections as seniors on freshman, sophomore, or junior dorms. Most of all, we weathered the discomfort of the pandemic and rebuilt a culture that thrives on togetherness and genuineness. Let us carry these Front Lawn skills of openness, authenticity, and courage for years and years to follow. 

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