As always, preparations and prior planning do much to ease your transition into your new school.
We offer our these ideas as students prepare to go off to boarding school in the fall. These are our thoughts and we may have missed something. We invite you to cover what we’ve missed in the comment section below the post.
Get Along With Your Parents
Believe it or not, you will miss them. Their love and support has gotten you to this point. Treat them well.
Fill Out Paper Work Timely & Honestly
You’re accepted; good, honest answers on roommate questionnaires and academic choice sheets help the school create the best situations possible for students.
Jot Down a List of Questions
What do you want to know about daily life? Many schools assign a "big sister" or "big brother" who contacts you in August. Your questions will give your give you something to talk about and won't sound dumb on the phone (or in any social network setting)
Contact Your Roommate(s)
Divvy-up whom will bring what for the room. You don’t need, nor do you have space for, two of everything. One stereo is enough.
Visit With Students and Families in Your Area
Schools will often put new students in touch with older/returning students in their area. Invite older students and their families over for cookout. Visit, ask questions, and learn from students and families that have already been through new student processes.
Find out if your school uses or encourages any social networking tools- facebook, Twitter, etc.- for new students.
Take Placement Tests
Usually in math & foreign languages- check with the academic office.
Make a doctor’s appointment for your physical exam and completion of your school medical forms.
Check with the athletic department to find out if going early is right for you. Pre-season training is usually limited to varsity athletes.
Do it and take notes. Write down short summaries and your thinking about each book- even if not required.
Find out what your upcoming grade level reads and read as many of those works as well- time permitting.
Shop for clothes with the "dress code" in mind. If you’re school requires a uniform, get fitted for it and order plenty of shirts/skirts/pants. Check the laundry schedule to make sure that you’ve got enough to make it through the laundry cycle.
Seasonal Clothes- Wait
Don't shop for seasonal clothing items before going off to school in the fall. If you’re changing climates (going from Florida to Massachusetts), buy the necessities for for your new climate in mid to late fall after your new needs becomes apparent. Note what veteran students faculty wear. On-line shopping works great in this area.
Bring enough razors, shampoo, tampons, soap, etc. to last until Christmas. The school store will have some, but it may not stock your favorites and getting into town to buy more will be more difficult than you think with a busy schedule. Remember, if you’re flying to school, you will want to purchase these items at your destination to avoid taking too much luggage.
TI-83 or TI-84 are most common models- ask your math department which is required. If you don't have one, you can often find a used one on ebay or amazon.
If you plan to upgrade or get one for the first time, ask the school which one- Mac or PC- is most easily supported. Nowadays, either platform is usually fine.
Get your parents to help. Use Sharpie markers, name-tags, name stickers, and engravers (for the calculator and possibly the computer).
Don't Bring Basic School Supplies
Bring the special kind of pens or pencils you can't live without. For the heavy stuff- paper, notebooks, etc. get them at the school store.
Instrument and Art supplies
Bring/ship if appropriate.
If traveling by car, pack in "milk crate" type containers. They make moving into the dorm and setting up your room easier.
End Vacations a Few Days Early
Give yourself at least 3 days of transition time before you have to leave for boarding school.
Don't Bring too Much!
Too much 'stuff' makes passing room inspection very tricky. You can always bring more when you come back from breaks. Plus, with experience under your belt, you’ll know what you really need.
Get Along With Your Parents
We said this already but it’s worth repeating. Treat them well.
Do Well and Good luck!
You will love it. You will, at times, hate it. But, you will mostly love it.