What To Bring To Boarding School
by: Bridget Bailey
Finally, you have gotten the acceptance letter to your boarding school of choice. You’ve taken the tour, signed up for classes, met your teachers, been introduced to other students, and now it is time to move into your dormitory. As you look over your room, you feel overwhelmed. How can you pack up your entire life into suitcases to begin somewhere else? You have too much stuff that you want to take with you. From your favorite clothes to your favorite bedsheets, how do you decide what you should bring? Well, keep reading and you will find out just that and a few other tips along the way.
Your wardrobe. First off, you will need to investigate what the weather is like where you are going. If you are going to Florida, for example, it is rare that you will need heavy jackets, boots, and gloves like you would in New England. So, it is best to check www.weather.com to see averages for throughout the season and try to bring clothes that fit for each. Layering is always a good idea for the majority of the time. For warmer climates, it would be best to bring shorts, t-shirts, boarding school appropriate dress (if they have a uniform), flip-flops, and sunglasses. Also, it would be a wise choice to pack a few light jackets, long sleeved shirts, and jeans for those times it does get chilly. For colder and wetter climates, it is advised to bring winter jackets, boots, jeans, khakis, gloves, warm socks, hats, scarves, and long sleeved sweaters. Don’t forget to bring pajamas, as well!
Electronics. In today’s society, it is inevitable that we need electronics in our day-to-day lives. With the majority of classrooms being “smart” classrooms and incorporating technology, it makes sense that you would need to bring things like a laptop, iPad, and cell phone. Depending on personal preference, you should bring something to do your work on. This could be a laptop, stationary computer, or tablet. Many students like portable technology like a laptop or tablet, so they can take it into class to do work or take notes. Students, also, bring their cell phones but be careful! Check with your new school to see if you are allowed to bring you cell to class. Some schools have strict guidelines with phones and may even confiscate them till the end of the day if you use them in class.
Dormitory Supplies. The basics are normally provided when you move into your dormitory. This includes things like: a bed, a wardrobe or closet, desk, table, chairs, and maybe shelving. However, linens aren't normally provided. Make sure that you pack bedding like pillows, blankets, a comforter, sheets, and at least two sets of each. Hangers are often forgotten in the packing process but are very important items when you want to hang up your clothes. Cleaning supplies may be needed if your school expects you to do all of your own cleaning. Even if your school does have cleaners, it is still a good idea to keep a stock of paper towels, a broom, antibacterial wipes, and Febreeze, just in case!
Hygiene Products. You dorm isn’t the only thing you need to keep clean! Personal hygiene is pertinent! Think toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo, soap, floss, perfume, cologne, shaving razors, conditioner, face wash, lotions, etc. These are all toiletries that you may need. Along with this, many boarding schools have shared bathing areas that are separated for boys and girls. Bringing a bathrobe and shower shoes may be in your best interest due to the amount of people who share this space. Also, you will need towels and washcloths. It is recommended to bring more than one set of each, so you can switch out during laundry days. Do not forget them when packing or you might have to stop your shower early and run to the store.
Stationary and Other Desk Items. While electronics are used within the classroom, this doesn’t mean that you won’t need paper and pencils. Therefore, things like notebooks, pencils, erasers, pens, post-its, an agenda, a backpack, highlighters, and the like are still necessary. Along with this, it would be a good idea to pack an alarm (even if you use your phone!), a gym bag (for trips to the gym or for athletics), and a USB drive.
Food/Snacks/Food Items. It is best to check with the school to see if you are allowed food items in your room. If you are, things that are individually wrapped or easily resealable will be best for keeping in the dorm. Drinks such as water, gatorade, or juice are good choices. Again, make sure that these items are individually packaged for easier consumption in the dorm. If it is allowed, things like plastic bowls, cups, plastic mugs, etc. are good ideas when you want to stay in your dorm to eat.
Medical Items. It is important that you remember to bring all medication that you are taking. You will need to check with your school to ensure that the nurse is notified of this. At some schools, medicine is dispensed only through the nurse.
Miscellaneous Personal Items. It is your own space, don’t forget it! To make yourself feel more at home, it is best to personalize your room. This will help when you feel homesick, too. Things you can bring to make your new dorm feel homey are photographs, favorite books, decorations (that will not harm the walls, paint, or be a fire hazard), rugs for your side of the room, curtains, decorative pillows, and special mementos like stuffed animals or favorite blankets.
These are all recommendations but it is always best to check with your school to see what you should and shouldn’t bring as each school is different. If you would like to read about what is allowed at The Vanguard School, please click here to find out more.