Top 10 Tips for Boarding School Students

Russell Held

Boarding school is a thrilling new world. If you're preparing to join one such as Wilbraham & Monson Academy, you're on the cusp of making lifelong friends, learning valuable lessons in and out of the classroom, and discovering new levels of independence. Of course, these exciting changes are often accompanied by natural challenges such as homesickness and nerves. These 10 life hacks for boarding school will help prepare you to overcome any obstacles and thrive from the get-go!

1. Bring Plenty of Clothing, Supplies and Reminders of Home


Don't forget to pack this vital checklist, as well as a few special personal items. The more pieces of home you bring, the more settled you'll immediately feel in your new residence. Whether it's your favorite winter coat, the journal you always write in or some framed family photos, having these keepsakes will bring a sense of familiarity to your new space.

2. Be Open-Minded


You'll encounter plenty of new things when you arrive in boarding school — these discoveries are a fun part of the process! But change also has a way of making us want to cling to what's familiar. Embrace new ways of doing things, different teaching styles and the plethora of diverse faces around you — the more open-minded you are, the sooner you'll grow to love your new school.

3. Maintain Good Hygiene


Establish good habits from the start. You may be used to having your parents take care of certain cleaning habits at home, but boarding school comes with new levels of independence and self-reliance. It's time for you to shine!

4. Connect With Your Roommates


Living together bonds people in ways that few other things can. Make an effort to bond with your roommate. Be intentional about sharing meals together, do fun activities together and share your tips to survive boarding school. You'll likely find you have plenty in common!

5. Use Your Time Wisely


Boarding school will offer plenty of extracurricular opportunities to jump in to, from clubs and events to sports teams and theatre productions. Decide which ones you can afford to spend time on, and make wise decisions about balancing your homework, social and personal time. This will help you from overcommitting early on.

6. Listen to Dorm Parents and Teachers


Dorm Parents and teachers have years of boarding school experience to offer — and most importantly, they want to help. Our biggest boarding house tip is to embrace their wisdom and consider them the caring, knowledgeable figures that they are. They're on your side.

7. Learn to Manage Your Time


Boarding school will quickly teach you that procrastination is not your friend. Approach your new school with a plan to conquer time management. Organize your day with specific goals in mind, make checklists of everything you need to accomplish and prioritize your time. This isn't just a boarding school hack — it's a valuable life skill.

8. Explore Off-Campus Opportunities


While there will be a plethora of options to keep you busy on campus, do your research and dive into off-campus opportunities as well. From school club activities to local arts and culture events, off-campus opportunities will help you expand your horizons and feel more comfortable in your new surroundings.

9. Learn to Manage Homesickness


Homesickness is a very common part of adjusting to your new life at boarding school. The good news is, plenty of others will be struggling with the exact same thing, so you'll have many people to connect with. Conquer homesickness through strategies such as staying active, socializing with new peers and keeping in touch with your family members.

10. Have Fun!


Most importantly, remember to have a good time! Through all of the transitions, boarding school is an incredible time for self-discovery and enhanced education. And while you're investing in the future, you can also have plenty of fun through new friendships, dorm living experiences and a wide array of extracurricular activities.

Are You Ready for the Boarding School Experience?

Now that you have these handy boarding house tips under your belt, do you feel more ready for the next step? Wilbraham & Monson Academy offers a unique, challenging learning environment along with the care and guidance of expert teachers and faculty. We'd love to have you join our community. To learn more, request more information or schedule a tour of our beautiful Massachusetts campus — or apply today!

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