The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Webb boarding students adjust back to dorm life

Sharon Xu
Britney Lu (‘23) and Jolina Zhao (‘23) stand in the doorway chatting before study hours start. Credit: Sharon Xu (’22)

As students dive into the new school year, it is clear that residential life looks and feels very different. The Webb boarding program underwent many changes over the past year and a half.

The VWS dorms now consist of Appleby, Jones, South Hutch, and Jameson while the WSC dorms include Macleod, Holt, Kirkhill, Reynolds, Alamo, and North Hutch. The past year brought renovations; some dorms now have air conditioning, some have new single occupancy rooms, and even new furniture.

New and returning students are excited to be living on the Webb campus, with freshman and sophomores experiencing Webb boarding life for the first time. For the classes of 2024 and 2025, the boarding experience will be completely new to them.

“When I first got to Webb, I was a bit homesick, but I didn’t find it too hard to get accustomed to the dorms,” said William Yang (‘24) a new boarding student in Kirkhill. “Learning all of the check-in rules and remembering to clean my room everyday was also hard at first. Actually, one night Mr. Mbengue came into my room for room check and told me I was cleaning my mirror wrong. It was really funny, and he taught me how to clean it right. I’ve been learning how to live on my own and it’s great being able to see my friends all the time.”

For example, students need to make their beds and clean their rooms daily for room checks, learn the check-in schedule, and sign in and out of the dorms. This might be challenging at first, but eventually, everyone will succeed.

Returning students are especially eager to be back at Webb after being away for a year and a half.

“It was so exciting! I really liked coming back and I’m in the same dorm I was my freshman year, so it was a lot of memories floating back to me,” said Marina Saeger (‘23) a junior dorm prefect in South Hutch. “Especially the process of moving back onto campus, just, it was the same in a lot of ways, but it was different in the sense that I knew what I was doing this time.”

Besides learning new rules and relearning old ones, many returning boarders are finding the transition back to dorm life relatively easy.

The new COVID regulations are the biggest adjustments students have had to make. Students are now only allowed to be in their assigned dorm and dorm area, friends can no longer visit each other’s rooms, day students can no longer come into the dorms, and boarders must be masked in all common areas.

In past years, students would gather in each other’s rooms and go to open dorms, so not having those opportunities has made it harder for students to connect with each other outside the school day and inside their own dorms.

“I really do see the need to implement these specific protocols to keep everyone safe and keep Webb open,” said Nicholas Theobald (‘22) a senior dorm prefect in Reynolds. “But on the other hand, they do detract from the environment in the dorms.”

Not only are boarding students feeling the impact of COVID-19 on their day-to-day lives, day students are also adjusting to the new restrictions.

“One of my best friends is a boarder and I used to go in her room to study all the time, but now I can’t,” said Caroline Metz (‘22) a senior day student. “But luckily there are places like Hooper and the library that I can hang out in.”

For boarders, dorms are places where they hope to find comfort and feel at home. As the interviews were conducted, the top three expectations that the students seek out the most are respect, friendships, and privacy.

“I hope to see the girls being respectful to each other’s privacy and space,” said Emily Berg (‘24) a new boarding student in South Hutch. “I don’t expect everyone to become best friend, knowing that it is hard to adjust to boarding life especially the freshmen and after online learning, but hopefully to be able to bond and do something together to make it seems like a special group.”

As students have moved into the dorms, the dorm heads are also seeing everyone readjust to boarding life this year. They’re helping returning students navigate new rules and responsibilities in the dorms while also helping all the new boarders learn what Webb dorm life is like.

“It’s been a particularly challenging year because there are essentially two new classes to the Webb boarding community,” said Seraphina Oney, head of South Hutch. “I think given the circumstances people are doing really well and as they start to learn more about the Webb community they’re going to do just as well as the other classes. They’ve really tackled our current challenges and are learning the Webb way.”

Finally, the Webb community is all on campus together again. As everyone embraces the new environment we are in, we can all make the most of this year.

“It is a new journey, and I am looking forward to it,” said Catherine Shen (‘25), a new boarding student in Appleby.

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About the Contributors
Dora Ding
Dora Ding, Staff Writer
Adventurous, analytical, and passionate, Dora Ding (‘24) looks forward to entering the newsroom as a first-year staff writer for the Webb Canyon Chronicle. In addition to improving her writing, Dora hopes to use her journalist role at the WCC to explore key issues in education and voice her opinions. Specifically, she is keen on improving education for children; over the summer, Dora participated in a program where she helped advise and inform students in Taiwan about the American education system and the college process. Besides writing articles for the WCC, you can catch Dora reading detective and mystery books, as she enjoys its thrills and suspense. In her spare time on the weekends, Dora likes going out to shopping malls and food courts with friends, as well as trying all the different flavors of ice cream: her current favorites are lemon sorbet and cookies & cream. She is excited to finally spend the year in-person at Webb and dive into her favorite class, AP Calculus AB. Dora also looks forward to participating in tennis and yearbook and hopes to remain involved with the Webb community in the years to come. Favorite song: "Things I Do For Love" by Lee Seung Hyun
Wura Ogunnaike
Wura Ogunnaike, Editor of Culture & Lifestyle & Social Media Manager
After spending her summer in a lab for a science research program, Wura Ogunnaike (23’) is ready to return to the Webb Canyon Chronicle as a Social Media Manager and the Editor of Culture & Lifestyle. Reflecting her earlier efforts, Wura enjoys writing for the publication because of the freedom and wide range of topics she can cover in the process. This year, aside from having fun with writing, Wura is also taking on the responsibility of a Social Media Manager by utilizing social media outreach to attract more readership and enhance the reputation of the Webb Canyon Chronicle. Outside of the newsroom, Wura is a Jameson dorm prefect, where she always demonstrates the perfect balance between enacting leadership when necessary and showing kindness to her fellow dorm residents. In her free time, Wura likes to read, hike, and listen to Taylor Swift songs. However, her favorite song is “This is What Makes Us Girls” by Lana Del Rey. In addition to developing new interests, her goal for herself is to branch out in multimedia and work on social media-related publications. Some examples include podcasts or a photo gallery, which she has already exposed herself to during her first year of journalism.  Favorite Song: "This Is What Makes Us Girls" by Lana Del Rey
Oma Sukul
Oma Sukul, Editor of Photography
One hundred kilometers an hour. Blink, and you’ll miss it. Hesitate, and it’s too late. But for Oma Sukul (‘23), Editor of Photography, it’s just another day of volleyball. Her lightning-fast reflexes not only help her as a varsity player out on the court, but they also enable her to capture spontaneous moments that are featured on the front page. However, Oma also treasures the slower parts of life. If one were to visit her home in Rancho Cucamonga, she would likely be found indulging in romance stories alongside her cat Lucky or singing along to Niel Diamond with her dad. She cherishes her connections with her friends and family, and you can always count on her to be genuine, friendly, and delightful in conversation. Born in Toronto, Canada, her transcontinental family means that she has roots spanning the Pacific Ocean. Contributing to dozens of articles last year, this year Oma seeks to further explore her creative side. Rediscovering her passion for the WCC's quizzes, she continues her quest to make the publication engaging and entertaining for all. One thing’s certain: whatever life throws at her, whatever the speed, you can count on Oma Sukul to spike it back with a smile.   Favorite song: “I am... I said” by Neil Diamond 
Jenny Tran
Jenny Tran, Public Editor
Whether it is popping on a new vinyl or traveling across the world, Jenny Tran (‘24) likes to immerse herself in the moment and explore the culture around her. You can find her hanging out with friends in the South Hutch common room or listening to various music genres at any place and time. Her favorite artists include Suboi, Keshi, Tyler the Creator, and Blackpink. Whether across the Pacific Ocean in California or in her hometown of Hanoi, Vietnam, Jenny is probably watching the radiant moon listening to Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean. At Webb, Jenny shines a light on women’s issues in different countries, Asian rights, and ESVI. As she moves into her third year on the Webb Canyon Chronicle, she hopes to continue advocating for her beliefs while exploring new mediums like poetry or photo galleries. As a Public Editor, Jenny also wants to bring more inventive and comedic ideas to the table. If you are ever in need of a good laugh, a music recommendation, or someone to go thrifting with, you should call Jenny Tran.  Favorite song: DO4LOVE by 52Hz & Willistic 
Sharon Xu
Sharon Xu, Editor of News
Unlike her favorite animal, the panda, Sharon Xu (‘22) is a go-getter and always tries her best. An amicable, assiduous South Hutch prefect that dances, Sharon is truly one of a kind. She is also the Editor of News for the Webb Canyon Chronicle and strives for informative, intellectual, and imaginative news articles for all of Webb to read. Sharon can often be found hanging out at the Appleby Lawn or studying in the library. Her favorite book is “One Last Stop,” in which Jane, the main character, finds herself on an unescapable train and makes a home for herself there. Just like Jane, Sharon is encapsulated by the “Webb web” and makes the most out of every situation she finds herself in. For example, when faced with the terrifying prospect of “math,” Sharon, despite many setbacks, works tirelessly and overcomes this hurdle. This work ethic translates to every aspect of her life. Whether it is authoring compelling articles for journalism or taking care of her two cats, Sushi and Doctor Spencer Reed, Sharon will always put her all into it. Favorite song: "How You Get the Girl" by Taylor Swift

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