Leaving home for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. Making the decision to attend boarding school means beginning a year filled with new opportunities, weather, and experiences! These are all amazing things, but they can make it difficult for boarding students to decide what is and isn’t important for them to pack—especially if this is the first time they’re moving away from home!
Never fear, we’ve put together a boarding school packing strategy to help you pack all the things you’ll want (and need) for school.
Think about the things you use every day at home: your toothbrush, socks, pajamas and a phone charging cable. As you go through your days this week, keep a list of the items that you’re using. At the end of the week, audit the list: are there items that come up almost every day, or at least multiple times a week? Add those to your “essentials” packing list – they’re the things you truly can’t live without!
Your favorite things
When you close your eyes and imagine the items around your home that bring you joy, what comes to mind? Maybe the collection of posters from your favorite band that hang on the wall, a blanket that your aunt knit you when you were little, a souvenir mug that you enjoy hot chai in every morning, or that framed photo of you and your best friends from childhood. While you certainly don’t need to pack up everything that brings a fond memory, having a few items that remind you of home and that bring you a cozy, warm feeling will make the adjustment to living at boarding school easier. You might think you’re ready to outgrow your childhood teddy bear, but trust us, you’ll want it when you’re at school!
Do your research
For any boarding school student, it’s a good idea to do some research before packing. Will you be wearing a school-branded uniform? Are the temperatures fairly consistent throughout the year, or do they vary? These questions will help guide you as you decide what and how much to bring. At Leysin Amerikaanse School, for example, our students do wear a uniform, and we experience a variety of temperatures throughout the year on our alpine campus. This means that students only need casual clothing for evenings and weekends, and they should bring layers for all types of weather.
Less is more
When making your final packing decisions, remember that you’ll likely acquire new and exciting belongings while you are away at school – so save space in your bags for the eventual items that you’ll want to bring home with you at the end of the year. If your school gives you the contact information for your roommate ahead of time, consider checking in with them about what they’re bringing – maybe they can bring the decorative rug, and you’ll bring the tea kettle! You’ll need less than you think, we promise!