Heading off to boarding school for the first time? You're likely scouring your school's "What to Bring" list and trying to make sure that you've got everything covered. Rather than compete with each school's list, (needs vary from school to school; dorm to dorm and dress code to dress code), here are 10 approaches to get you set for the fall.
  1. Pay attention to your school's list. It's tailored for your school's dress code, dormitories, even the laundry schedule. Know the laundry schedule.

  2. Don't start off the school year in violation of school rules. If the school states that something is banned or in violation of the rules, don't bring it.

  3. Operate from a needs versus wants position. It's certainly nice to have all your stuff, but at school you may not need every last item. Also, don't forget that if it's a nice item, it may be subject to rough use and wear.

  4. Call your roommate and coordinate on common items of which you only need one (think stereo). I remember doing this as a 10th grader; my roommate lived close to school; he brought the stereo and his mom made the curtains.

  5. Don't bring too much. We suggest the only things on which to go overboard are underwear and t-shirts. I know from experience students sometimes miss laundry day.

  6. Think small. Dorm rooms aren't big. You won't have much storage space.

  7. Small goes for the sound system too. Your neighbors usually don't want to share your musical taste with you. And, in every school I know, you have to keep the volume down. Bring a dorm sized sound system.

  8. Used furniture. If you want a chair or small couch, visit used furniture stores when you move-in. Nothing new or particularly nice belongs in a dorm room.

  9. Dorm rooms are primarily for sleeping & studying. You want a comfortable room, but you don't need a posh living room.

  10. Leave the fancy watches and jewelry at home. Things get lost and disappear- even in great places.