What Not to Bring to Boarding School

Don't even try bringing these banned items to your dorm

Student reading in his dorm room

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There are plenty of items to bring with you boarding school, including some fun stuff. But there are also plenty of things that are usually banned from boarding school dorm rooms. Do you know what you're not allowed to bring to school? Check out this list of 10 things that you typically are not allowed to bring to school with you in the dorms. Note, these rules may vary from school to school, so be sure to check with your student life office for specifics, but these are generally off-limits items, and could even result in disciplinary action if you're caught with them.

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Mini Fridge

mini-fridge, refrigerator

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This appliance may be a college staple, but many boarding schools don't allow mini-fridges in dorm rooms. The reasons why may vary from school to school, but don't fear. When these appliances are banned from student rooms, schools will typically provide a full-sized fridge or two throughout your dorm for everyone to share.​ ​Add a sharpie and some tape to your list of things to bring to boarding school, so you can label the stuff that belongs to you!

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Another appliance that is likely off-limits is the microwave. While you may crave the microwave-goodness of popcorn or warm soup, it's not going to happen directly in your dorm room. Similar to the deal with the fridge though, your school will likely have a microwave or two in your dorm for shared use.

You may want to invest in some reusable containers with lids to both store your food and keep your food from popping all over the microwave while you're heating it up.

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Other Appliances

Hot plate an coffee maker

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While you may crave a morning cup of coffee or a hot plate to warm your soup, chances are these items are off-limits. So are toasters, electric tea kettles, rice cookers, crockpots and basically any electric item that will heat up your food. 

Take advantage of the dining hall and appliances that are available there or in your dorm. If something you need isn't available, ask a dorm parent. You never know when you might get an invite to bake cookies in a real oven or pop some popcorn for movie night.

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Video Game Systems

Game controler

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Chances are, your school will limit your ability to have video game systems. Often, these systems will be available in the common areas for casual play, but in your room, you should be focused on homework and studying. If your school doesn't offer this in the dorms, there might be gaming systems in student centers or other areas. Ask around.

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Television in the living room

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Your boarding school likely won't allow you to have a television screen in your dorm room, and if you are allowed a TV, you typically won't be allowed to have one over a certain size and it must be free-standing. Common areas have televisions with cable connections and sometimes even video game consoles for your viewing and gaming pleasure.

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Your Own WiFi or Satellite Connection

Network cables

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Part of the boarding school experience is about teaching students to use their time wisely, and that includes getting some sleep. As such, many schools disable the internet after a specific hour. Many students try to bring their own wifi connections, but chances are, these are banned. You could put the security and functionality of the school's systems at risk.

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Candles, Incense, Wax Warmers

incense and candles
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While these items may help you create your own private sanctuary for studying and relaxing, they are likely banned at your boarding school. These flame-based products are major fire hazards, especially when you factor in the fact that many school dorms are extremely old. You can also throw lighters and matches into this category.

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Twinkle Lights/Christmas Lights

Christmas lights

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String lights look awesome but these lights have the ability to get hot to the touch, which can be a fire hazard. In fact, many schools ban the use of these items indoors year-round, even around the holidays.

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Car, Golf Cart, Vespa, Motorcycle, Hoverboards

Closeup of a car headlight

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Boarding school means you reside on campus, and as such motor vehicles are usually banned. No cars, golf carts, Vespa, or motorcycles are allowed. Schools will provide van trips to local shopping and weekend or evening activities, so you shouldn't need a car to survive. Many schools have added hoverboards to the banned list, too. These items not only pose a safety concern but, they are also a fire hazard. Leave these items at home.

If you want to get around campus faster and head to some local spots within campus bounds, you might consider a bicycle. Most schools allow bikes if you wear a helmet and use them responsibly.

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Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco

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Most schools are smoke-free campuses, and that means even if you're 18 years old, you can't light up. This ban likely now includes e-cigarettes. It should go without saying, but drugs and alcohol are also banned. This often includes over the counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements. 

If you have questions about vitamins or supplements, talk to your school nurse or athletic trainers. Schools are very strict in this area, and getting caught with these substances can lead to major disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion from school and criminal charges from the local authorities. 

Be Responsible

Schools want to empower students to use good judgment and make good decisions. Abiding by the list of items that are banned from campus is a great way to show that you're capable of making mature and responsible decisions. Get to know the details of what is allowed on campus and what items are banned, and make sure you're in compliance.

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Your Citation
Jagodowski, Stacy. "What Not to Bring to Boarding School." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/what-not-to-bring-boarding-school-4074170. Jagodowski, Stacy. (2023, April 5). What Not to Bring to Boarding School. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-not-to-bring-boarding-school-4074170 Jagodowski, Stacy. "What Not to Bring to Boarding School." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-not-to-bring-boarding-school-4074170 (accessed June 5, 2023).