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How to Prepare Yourself for Boarding School

Sarah O'Neill
The time has come to begin another school year! Pre-season athletes and international students arrive next Thursday, August 30th and all other students, new and returning, arrive Monday, September 3rd. Here are some things you can do to prepare yourself for boarding school, whether it’s your first year or you’re coming back for more!
Pack Ahead
Make sure everything you need is packed and ready to go ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute to pack. Give it all a once, twice, thrice over so you can make sure you don’t forget anything. Bring a favorite reminder of home and don’t forget your pillow!
Get Organized
The more organized you are when arriving at school, the easier it will all be. Make sure all of your forms are finished, purchase your school supplies in advance, and have a plan for your dorm room.
Come up with a Contact Plan with Parents
If you’re boarding, establish a daily or weekly contact plan to stay in touch. Make it a part of your routine, so you can ensure your parents stay up-to-date on what’s going on! They will also receive plenty of contact from the school itself, through monthly email correspondence, social media accounts and the Parents’ Association.
Be Open Minded
Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, with a new year becomes brand new experiences. Be open to making friends and learning about those different from you. Being exposed to many different individuals and cultures is an incredible opportunity unavailable to most high school students. This goes for opportunities as well - embrace new things! Try a sport or club you’ve never tried before. There is nothing to lose by broadening your horizons.
Think About Strategies for Homesickness
You will likely be nervous if it’s your first time at boarding school. Don’t worry, everyone is probably feeling the same even if they’ve been there for a few years. It’s ok to call home but don’t depend on those calls to solve your homesickness. Go for a walk with your dorm mates, go to the common areas and meet some new people, get to know the adults in your community. You will feel more at home as you become more comfortable with the people around you. You are not isolated at school! Have friends and family visit often if they are close enough. There are many opportunities for your family to join you on campus.

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