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 10 ways to prepare for boarding school life 

By Makayla L., ’23 and Isabella W., ’23

Preparing for boarding school is something you might not hear in your day-to-day conversation. It was never an easy conversation to have when I had talked to family and friends about my choice to go to boarding school. I was always asked, “How do you prepare yourself for such a drastic change?” It wasn’t always easy. It took a lot of growing to get to the point I am at right now. 

10. Learn how to do your laundry- This may seem like a little preparation, but as they say, a little goes a long way. Before Rio, I wasn’t the person to do my laundry. Growing up I never would do my laundry. As I got into 6th grade I started to learn how to do my laundry and by 8th grade, I was doing my laundry every week by myself. When coming to Rio you will do your laundry on your own and develop life skills as the years go by. 

9.  Time Management– When living away from home it can be harder to manage your time, especially with your parents not always being there telling you what to do and when. Try to prepare yourself for long term success by doing the simple things like getting your homework done without being told and putting your studies before any extra activities, that way when it’s done you won’t have to procrastinate and can be ready for the freedom of time management Rio Lindo has to offer.  

8. Practice independence– Keep in mind when coming to Rio how important it is to teach yourself to become more independent. To begin to prepare for coming, start out with learning independence from the small things. This can be anything from waking yourself up on time to cooking a meal once a day by yourself. Before I came to Rio I would’ve considered myself pretty independent however after having lived here a while now I know how important it is to prepare yourself for the things you’ll have to do on the regular.

7. Be open-minded and think positive– This is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to keep in mind when preparing to attend boarding school. When coming to school you’ll have to remember to keep an open mind towards pretty much everything. Living at a boarding school is packed with ups and downs (mostly ups) but it’s always a good idea to be prepared. This can be anything from keeping your head up and persevering when school gets tough or even keeping an open mind when being told that you’ve made a mistake. 

6. Adopt healthy learning habits– Coming to Rio is definitely one of the most rewarding things I’ve done so far. There are so many people who tend to want to be closed off especially with academics, however, the teachers, staff, and friends that you will meet here are as helpful as ever and will become like a close-knit family. I never understood how important it is to create positive learning habits beforehand, such as asking for help when you need it or getting your work done with 100% effort. These habits will definitely improve your experience as they will be used at Rio in everyday academic life. 

5. Practice Gratitude– People who show gratitude are proven to be 10% happier than those who aren’t (trust me that 10% can definitely make a difference) People who practice gratitude are also less stressed, have better social relationships, and have greater resilience. Start by reminding yourself of something you’re grateful for every day (Yes the small things count!) This can 100% make a difference when preparing for boarding school to keep a healthy mindset for day-to-day life. 

4. Conditioning for sports

As an athlete, I would highly recommend conditioning for fall sports, volleyball, flag football, and boys soccer. The first week of school we start tryouts for each sport as soon as possible. It consists of running, diving, jumping, sprinting, catching, and your skills you have or if you have little to no experience you will learn the sport, different positions, and the game rules. Going into my freshman year I tried out for flag football and that first week my body was sore. Our bodies are all different and some may not be affected as others but everyone is strong and can make it through. It’s a tough time when your body is not used to using those muscles you haven’t used all summer. Throughout each season for every year I played, it got easier from doing small conditioning throughout the summer. Going for a run, going for a hike, doing a workout you found on the internet (I recommend Pinterest), eating healthy, and drinking a ton of water! Take care of your body and it’ll pay off in the future. 

3. Keeping up with Rio media

I had done this leading up to my freshman year. Throughout middle school I had always followed the school’s Instagram (@riolindoacdemy) and my parents followed the school’s Facebook account. I was always interested in what the school was doing. I would learn about the sport’s games, school events and new information about the school. This is a good opportunity to keep up with what Rio is up to on a daily basis. 

2. Packing the right things

Coming to Rio you might find yourself stressing over what to pack. I know for myself I had felt like I packed everything I owned and brought it with me but later I realized that I didn’t need everything I packed. It’s good to pack the things you know that are necessary and items that will give you comfort like your room at home. Bringing pictures of your family and friends, posters to make your room feel like you, carpet, SNACKS, mug, childhood blanket/ stuffed animal can really bring the comfort of your home and childhood. If you are still stuck on finding the right things you need, Rio has an official dorm room packing list with everything you need. 

  1. Get ready for a new chapter in your life!

Coming to Rio can give you a whole new different perspective on a lot of things, certain situations and people may come as easy or difficult but you must approach those things with the right attitude. Living at a boarding school throws all these new challenges into your life and you need to get ready for new experiences, with an open mind. Stay in touch with your friends and family at home, but open your heart up to the amazing new people that will come into your life. 

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