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December 2019

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Laura Franks
Message from the Head of Boarding
Laura Franks

The last two months as Head of Boarding at Havergal College has been a busy time as I continue to meet and build connections with students, faculty and the wider community. It has also been a busy time for the Boarders. Since October, they have participated in various weekend activities, including Thanksgiving Dinner, seeing the theatre production Come From Away, the Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland, the COSSOT Grade 9 and 10 semi-formal and the Cavalcade of Lights. Leading up to the holidays, the past few weeks have also included watching the movie Home Alone in the common room, a visit to the Christmas market in the Distillery District, the Boarder International Holiday Dinner and of course the traditional Carol Service at St. Paul’s Bloor Street. Instead of Secret Santa this year, the girls have decided to make individual donations to a charity of their choice. I am impressed with their thoughtfulness and spirit of giving to others during the lead up to the holiday season.

The students learn many skills while living in Boarding. Whether doing laundry or sitting in the Boarding School Office (BSO) or the Dining Hall, I enjoy chatting with the students to hear their coming and goings and things that are on their mind. It is often the small moments, those in-between spaces that make up our days, which give us true insight into who we are and how we live the Havergal values of integrity, inquiry, compassion and courage. It is an older student comforting a younger student in the BSO who is crying about a personal problem or the Junior Dons collaborating with a staff member in the Communications & Marketing Department to explore new ways to revamp the Boarding newsletter; these moments are touchstones that show me that your daughters are making a difference in a joyful community of learning and living.

Please feel free to contact me or the Dons at our communal email address: havergaldons@nullhavergal.on.ca. We are always available for you. As we head into the winter holiday, we wish you all a restful, relaxing break with your daughters and look forward to seeing them back in the new year.

Laura Franks
Head of Boarding

 

Humans of Boarding

Emerald N.
Emerald N.
Grade 11 Boarder from Vietnam

Moving to Canada was very different because I had to make new friends. I was in the Day School before Boarding. I came to Boarding because my brother moved and I had been living with him. Being with my brother was lonely but now I have lots of friends in Boarding. There is this sense of community in Boarding where everyone is nice to each other.

 

Nicole T.
Nicole T.
Grade 10 Boarder from China

Coming to Canada was very different for me. The education system was not what I was used to. Instead of staying in one classroom like we did in Chengdu, I had to move from classroom to classroom. At first I was lost, but now I’m doing much better. Although it was challenging, I think it is always good to change your environment so you can learn new things. I chose Boarding because I like the convenience and having my friends around. We are close despite the differences in our cultures.

 

Jeanna A.
Jeanna A.
Grade 11 Boarder from Kazakhstan

I think the people are more accepting here. At first I had a hard time settling in, but now everything is better—friends, classes and Boarding. It’s always hard in a new school.

 

Victoria L.
Victoria L.
Grade 11 Boarder from Jamaica

My old school was co-ed, so coming to a girls school was so different, especially since you’re living with the girls. I had to adjust to a new home and new school. At first, I did not go through the initial homesickness because I was lucky to have found my people immediately. Now that I’ve gone through a year, I know how to navigate Boarding better, as well as the Day School. I like my Boarding community.

 

Sunny Z.
Sunny Z.
Grade 9 Boarder from China

What has been your experience in Boarding so far?
On my first day of Boarding, I had already made a lot of friends. Everyone is so kind. They always tutor me and tell me about their experiences in Boarding, whether it’s the good, the bad or the ugly. I also really like all the cookies and desserts they provide for us; they’re really good in my opinion!

What made you decide to come to Boarding?
My family is in China and there is no one in Canada that can take care of me, so they sent me to Boarding. I felt that if I stayed in Boarding, I could adapt better to the school environment since I’m living at the school.

What’s the best thing about Boarding?
At night, when I’m bored, I can talk to my friends and have fun. If I have homework that I don’t understand, I can just ask my friends for help. The community in general is amazing.

 

Ana D.
Ana D.
Grade 10 Boarder from Mexico

What has been your experience in Boarding so far?
The first year of Boarding was super overwhelming for me. I didn’t really enjoy it in the beginning until I really got to know my friend Victoria; then I became comfortable to be in Boarding. I still have my own ups and downs in my second year, but it has mostly been amazing. The one thing that made my second year so much better is the fact that I have more friends. Since I know everyone already, it feels more like family.

What has been the biggest transition?
The culture and the people. The people in Mexico tend to be more straightforward compared to Canadians, so I was not used to that when I first arrived.

What’s your favourite thing about Boarding?
I would say that it is definitely the friendship, or the “family-ship”, that we have. It’s not like other friendships that I’ve had before.

 

Brianna K.
Brianna K.
Grade 12 Boarder from Canada

What has Boarding been like for you so far?
It’s been really good. I really like the Dons this year, as I have been able to connect with them. It’s only been a few months and I can already feel like I can go to them if I need help. Having a room to myself allows me to have more privacy and more time to myself. I feel more at home when I’m by myself.

What’s the biggest difference between your first year and now?
I think I’ve changed a lot. I think I have become more independent and learned more things about myself. I can totally see the growth throughout the years. I’ve got a job this year and I never thought I would be able to apply and get the position by myself.

What’s the one best thing about Boarding?
Being able to turn to people when I need support and having someone to hang out with all the time.

 

Jasmine H.
Jasmine H.
Grade 11 Boarder from Canada

How has your Boarding experience been so far?
It’s been good. I’ve made many friends and have met many people from around the world. I have gotten so much out of the experience and have learned so much about diversity.

What’s the biggest difference between your first year and now?
The biggest difference would definitely be my friends. I didn’t have that many friends in the first year, but over the course of the year I built so many friendships that I wasn’t even worried when I came back for my second year.

What’s your favourite thing about Boarding?
It’s definitely the people and the culture. I have made so many friends from all around the world.

 

Mathilda L.
Mathilda L.
Grade 10 Boarder from China

How has Boarding been for you so far?
Boarding has been good, but it’s a big adjustment. Just living with a whole bunch of other people is so different. My favourite thing is being able to sleep in, since I don’t have to travel for school. Day girls have to wake up earlier, but I get to sleep up to the last minute. The biggest adjustment would be keeping to the schedule. Sometimes you don’t want to go down for study hall or be down for breakfast at 8 am, but it’s something that you have to do.

 

Praise E.
Praise E.
Grade 11 Boarder from Canada

How has Boarding been for you so far?
There are new rules this year, such as the timing for breakfast on Wednesdays. I also feel like the Dons this year are more involved. There are always emails going out about what is going on. The best thing about Boarding is the community. I get to come up and live with people from all around the world. We are all good friends here. I also really like having the freedom to sleep. Since I don’t have to wake up early like the Day School students do to come to school on time, I get to sleep in more.

 

Kaylee Y.
Kaylee Y.
Grade 12 Boarder from Canada

How has Boarding been for you so far?
Boarding has been a big transformation for me since I first arrived. I was really shy and quiet, but now I have become more outspoken. My attitude and the way I look at life has definitely changed. Now I feel more in charge and that nothing can stop me. It definitely made me more independent and caring. The best thing about Boarding is the friends. I can always find my closest friends right down the hallway.

Catherine Feng
Message from the Boarder Prefect
Catherine F.

Did you know that the Boarding School is the diversity powerhouse of Havergal? Having spent the past two years in Boarding, I sometimes look back at how different my perspective used to be and am in awe as to how the Boarding environment has changed me. Boarding is a great community with diverse voices. It is this supportive community that has made me an open-minded thinker and an outspoken student. The inclusive Boarding community has made me more aware of who I am, as well as broadened my perspective on culture and society. It has been wonderful seeing how everyone has grown closer since the beginning of the year through activities such as the Amazing Race and the Canada’s Wonderland outing. Getting to know everyone has been such a privilege and I can say with confidence how strong and talented everyone is. I hope in the following year, this supportive environment can continue to thrive and everyone will start to feel more comfortable in this home away from home. As we come to the end of 2019, I would like to invite everyone, again, to try something new in the new year.

 

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