Webb Students’ overwhelming commitments prevent healthy sleep habits


Graph of survey result conducted on students; result shows Webb students, especially upperclassmen, do not get the recommended amount of sleep for teenagers. Graphic Courtesy of Joon Hwang

Students understand that Webb is supposed to be a challenging environment; it’s a college-preparatory independent boarding school where the majority of the students matriculate at prestigious colleges. However, the amount of sleep that Webb students get, especially upperclassmen, is dangerously low. According to a survey conducted which asked students about the amount of sleep they get, the average amount was 6.825 hours per day. To be more specific, the average amount of sleep for underclassmen (freshmen, sophomore) was 7.94 hours per day, while the average amount of sleep of the upperclassmen (junior, senior) was 5.71 hours per day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, these results are much lower than the recommended amount of sleep for teenagers, which should typically be eight to ten hours.

Webb does encourage students to get enough rest; campaigns like the Sleep Week show that Webb’s faculty and leadership groups are clearly aware of this problem. In fact, for the first time in Webb’s history, the school held a “Midterm Writing Day”, where all students were given the academic day off.

However, although the accentuation does teach students time management, the amount of stress and work subject to the students is overwhelming to the point where it is unhealthy for the majority of the students.

Academics is not the only factor that stresses out Webb students. Webb requires students to participate in at least one team sports throughout the year. Students are also required to have afternoon activities, which often takes at least an hour from the student’s afternoon. There are other obligations depending on the student’s leadership position or residency status, such as community dinners for boarders and work crews for WSC prefects. Day students are no exception from such obligations; while day students are free from some of the events that are mandatory for boarders, they may have other unique commitments, such as family events, that they have to participate in. Combined with the rigorous academic workload provided by the school, the obligations stress out the majority of the student body.

We all understand that such pressure and workload is supposed to help us adapt to college and future careers. However, it is difficult for students when they actually have to face the work and manage everything by themselves; although the kindhearted faculties of Webb and the responsible student leaders offer help to students, in the end, it is the responsibility of the students themselves to take care of their own work.