In the first two years, students generally start off in dorms, sharing with anywhere between 3-8 people depending on the school. As students progress through the school, that number decreases. Sharing a room is almost entirely positive, with most of the talking and bonding done after lights out. It is extremely helpful in allowing new students to connect. In fact, lots of older students do miss this part of boarding even if they grow to appreciate their increased privacy. Depending on the school, students should have a significant amount of wardrobe space; nevertheless, it is recommended not to bring all your stuff the first time in case there is nowhere to put it.
What students do in their free time depends hugely on their school. Different schools will have different customs. Furthermore, it also depends on a student's friendship group. That being said, it is generally no different to anywhere else. Students will hang out together in common rooms or go out to the local town to MacDonald's.
Almost all pupils have iPhones. Depending on the school, you will be issued or told to buy a laptop. Some students do bring gaming PCs but the rules on that vary from school to school. All schools have electronic usage rules and block websites used for entertainment and gaming. Younger pupils generally will have to hand in their phones at night.
All schools will provide you with a list of things to pack which include things like the number of trousers, shirts, pillows, blankets, etc. However, some things that might not be listed are:
-mattress topper as dorm beds are uncomfortable (John Lewis Specialist Synthetic 5-Zone Support Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Single)
-slippers to wear in showers
-plastic basket to take to showers for shampoo, etc.
-bathrobes/dressing gowns to wear to showers
-tuck box (for snacks that can be locked; Mossman Trunks - Steamer trunks and Tuckboxes (mossman-trunks.co.uk))
-laundry bags for dirty clothing
-nametags (all clothing and personal items need to have sewn labels in them)
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