It feels like only yesterday that I joined Llandovery College in Year 9, as a shy, quiet version of myself. Now, at the end of Year 13, I am here writing this leaver’s message, which makes me quite sad, yet excited to move on to new adventures.
Sport has been a big part of my time at the College. I have played netball, hockey and tennis as co-curricular activities which has built my confidence and allowed me to make lifelong friends in the process. I have many fond memories; from my Year 9 Sports Day where the Sixth Form boys helped me learn how to throw a javelin safely to learning hockey commands in French during my Sixth Form years with Maïté, our Belgian Immersion Student, who I have remained in daily contact with ever since.
For the last five years almost all my lunchtimes have been dedicated to music, something I am passionate about. I arrived at College with no self-confidence and prone to stage fright, but I have been continually encouraged and challenged by my peers and teachers to go outside my comfort zone. As such, I also took up LAMDA which was great for developing my confidence. I have performed on stage with the choir and orchestra and even developed the courage to perform solos. I have toured France, Germany and Belgium with the choir and orchestra. We ate amazing waffles, spoke to locals (who thought we were from Hogwarts!), visited chapels, castles and remembrance memorials. The most memorable moment of these tours was singing at the Menin Gate ceremony, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) has been an important part of my life since joining the College. I have been fortunate enough to have shot in CADSAAM, competed in international competitions in Bisley, shot for Welsh Schools and I even managed to win the Junior Under 21 Welsh Championship. I have attended summer camps where I experienced many new and exciting adventure activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, orienteering, shooting and many more. Last summer, I participated in white water kayaking in North Wales and canoeing in the Lake District with the Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training. These opportunities allowed me to make closer bonds and friendships with fellow cadets from other schools around the UK. The College has given us the opportunity to fly – literally. The CCF has tested my limit as I, along with other cadets, twice parachuted solo out of a plane at 4000ft. Such an exhilarating experience I never thought I would be able to do before leaving school.
I have so many amazing memories from my time at the College, from ‘getting lost’ on Pen y Fan mountain to standing in the rain watching the boys win a rugby match on Tredegar pitch. Lots of the best memories also come from spending time with the girls in my House, Tŷ Catrin. Spending time drinking tea, chatting, stressing together, singing Disney songs, playing hide and seek and even attempting yoga at break times. Such shenanigans made me late to both the Feast and May Ball, but these are memories I will never forget and I know our friendship will continue even when we are scattered around the World in the coming years.
Throughout my time at the College the teachers have all been so supportive. From Miss Flowers converting me from an aquatic to a land mammal, to all the teachers who encouraged my learning with bribery, laughter and food. I am grateful to each of you for your time, expertise, enthusiasm and guidance and for going the extra mile with me to ensure that I achieved my potential, and to move to the next stage of my educational journey.
My time at Llandovery College has been nothing short of memorable. The College has been an integral part of my family and these fond memories will forever be etched in my heart and mind. I am so grateful for all those teachers who have influenced me to do my best and for the many opportunities the College has offered me. Most importantly, I am grateful to have been a part of such an amazing College which has allowed me to make the best memories over the past five years.