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  • Amanda Wang

Barrows-Douglas' exclusive prom brings warm memories

A simple activity organized in a first-year girls' dorm developed some of their fondest first-year memories, setting the tone for their first year at Stevenson perfectly.

All Barrows-Douglas 2021-2022 residents and faculty pose for a photo.

A Tusitala survey asking for students' favorite dorm activities from last year drew many comments from students of all classes. Barrows-Douglas stood out the most since most of its last-year residents all highlighted something special — a dorm prom in the chapel. Many people commented on how this event significantly influenced their first year: "BOBA POPSICLES! BOBA TRUCK!" (Alyssa S, 10th grade).


The dorm prom was a unique event funded by the Cameron Fuller prize that Barrows-Douglas hadn’t won for many years. The entire Barrows-Douglas dorm worked tirelessly to achieve this honor, which required commitment from both the prefects and the boarders engaging positively with the dorm bonding events. Students dressed in a casual-formal fashion for the first-year girls' prom. The chapel is supposed to be a formal venue for resident students to attend Vespers, but for last year's Barrows-Douglas girls, it was a place where they celebrated their final few weeks living in Barrows-Douglas. They enjoyed their last Wednesday before the final week on the chapel deck, with plenty of refreshments that many appreciated and indicated in the survey. Girls took gorgeous pictures of themselves and enjoyed this exclusive one-of-a-kind event.

Becky O’Neill (ex dorm head), all Barrows-Douglas 2021-2022 prefects

The prom was originally a substitute for another formal event that was disrupted, and yet the atmosphere turned out to be completely different than what was planned.. This was a fun and relaxed prom with only dancing, laughter, and smiles. Some of the highlights these ex-Barrow Douglas girls mentioned included a boba truck, sparkling lemonades, and Just Dance Gangnam style. During an interview, Becky O'Neill, ex-dorm head of Barrows-Douglas, also discussed what inspired her to arrange this significant event: “I really trusted the prefects to tell me what they wanted and to buy what they wanted. It was, I think, Kayla's idea to have a Bridgerton themed prom. Also, with boba for the dorm prom…everyone just wanted more every time I bought Boba popsicles, so I figured that boba would be a necessary requirement.”

Barrows-Douglas residents playing Just Dance

As many first-year boarders adjust to life on campus, connecting and socializing have become an important part of their 9th-grade year. A dorm is a place where they can easily communicate their ideas, get support, and feel at ease. Students can better adapt to this community and make it a safer place for them if they are in a supportive atmosphere. “We are all here, and we are together, but it is very easy for people to stay very individualized and just go about their homework, sports, and class day,” O’Neill said. “When we don’t have family around, it can feel very disconnected. So I viewed the activity as a way for people to connect with each other and feel a sense of home and a sense of place.”

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