Essential Gear for Boarding School

Essential Gear for Boarding School

You're off to boarding school. What a great adventure! Yes, it is kind of scary leaving your own home and moving into a strange place. But think of it this way: it's all going to be new, different and exciting! And you are doing this before most kids do since most kids leave home for the first time when they go to college.

So, what should you bring from home? Well, the school will provide you with a very detailed list of items they want you to bring, and we have a list of essential items for you here. Make sure you have all that stuff. But what else might you need? Check out this list of boarding school gear that will help make your experience even better.

1. Music

Most students just cannot live without their tunes. If you're the same way, make sure to load up your iTunes list with the latest music or get a subscription to Pandora, Spotify or another music service. Don't forget to pack whatever charger you need or even some portable speakers. An extra set of earbuds couldn't hurt, as well as a set of nice noise canceling headphones. You never know when there's going to be a loud night on dorm and you want to get some homework done or head to bed early, and escaping with your favorite music can be exactly what you need. Bring whatever patch cables you need to hook it all up, too.

2. Laptop and Printer

The school will probably specify the kind of laptop you need to bring. It may even be part of your first yearbook fees. In any case, you will need your laptop together with any essential CD's such as the operating system/restore disk, your anti-virus software, etc.

A multi-function printer is worth its weight in gold. A USB hub will be useful to connect all your peripherals. Make sure you have all the required dongles and cords to make everything connect, and you might even consider purchasing an extra charger. That way, you can leave one charger in your dorm room and leave one in your bag just in case.

3. Sports Equipment

Skates, skis, soccer cleats, golf clubs, tennis and squash racquets, swim goggles, saddle, riding crop and boots. Any of all of these items could be on your list depending on the season and the location of your school. It doesn't all have to come with you; you can always order things online and have them delivered to campus. Or, just make sure you have the sports equipment you need for the fall semester. You can pick up the rest when you go home for breaks and holidays.

4. Cellphone

While there will be rules about when and where you can use your cell phone, you will need it. Make sure your service plan allows for unlimited texting and nationwide calling. Don't forget the charger and maybe bring a few. You might consider purchasing an external charger to keep you powered as you go along. A good case can also protect your phone against cracking and chipping.

5. Credit and ATM Card

Most schools will give you an opportunity to get an account set up with a local bank, if you need one, which will provide you with an ATM card. Your school may also provide a campus purchasing plan through a one-card system or similar set up. But, you may also want to consider having a separate credit card for those unexpected emergencies. Use it sparingly for casual purchases only, and make sure you and your parents have a clear understanding about how much you can spend per month.

Have an ATM card as well. To prevent fraud have your parents keep a nominal amount in the account the ATM card draws against. They can always add more funds as necessary.