For New Students

Open up; look around; take it in; make it yours.
The Hotchkiss experience is all about discovery — a process that can be
transformative, exhilarating, and sometimes challenging. Here’s what current students, faculty, and staff have to say about how to meet those challenges and make the most of your time at Hotchkiss.

Getting Ready for Hotchkiss

Newly accepted students should keep track of important forms and deadlines using the New Student Checklist. Be sure to keep on top of important tasks. In addition to required placement tests, transcripts and forms, all new students also have a chance to tell us about themselves to help inform decisions about roommate and academic advisor assignments.

Welcome to Our Community: Advice for New Students

What Current Students Say

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. Everyone here wants to see you succeed.
  • Learn to manage your time. It will help you be more organized and make life a little less stressful.
  • Don't be afraid to try new activities.
  • Take advantage of our location. Join the Outing Club, take a walk in the woods, spend a day at Fairfield Farm, take a dip in the lake, or study outside. The fresh air is good for you.
  • Everybody is in the same boat! (Scared, excited, overwhelmed, confused, curious, etc.)
  • Make your bed every morning. Seriously. (Unless you wake up five minutes before your first class). It can make or break your day.
  • When doing your laundry, do NOT accidentally put a red shirt inside of an all-white load.

What Faculty and Staff Say

  • Break one big task into several steps and take them one by one. Then, relax and enjoy the work.
  • Concentrate on what you love and do that well.
  • If you’re feeling hurt, lonely, or overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
  • The person next to you (in class, on stage, on the athletic fields) could be your best friend for life.
  • Enjoy the beauty of the campus and its natural surroundings.
  • Try something new.
  • Play your heart out.
  • Open up; look around; take it in; make it yours.
  • Leave your cell phone in your room once in awhile.

What to Bring

Clothing and Shoes

As the Northwest corner of Connecticut weather varies from an average high of 78°F with sunshine in August to an average low of 14°F and significant snowfall in January, it is important to consider a wide range of clothing. The most important clothes and shoes you should pack:

  • Academic day (see DRESS CODE)
  • Active wear: socks, sneakers, sweats, t-shirts, athletic shorts (specific athletic wear and gear may be sport-dependent)
  • Weather-appropriate casual wear: shorts, sandals, jeans, sweaters
  • Outdoor wear: work or hiking boots/shoes, windbreaker, water-resistant jacket
  • Winter wear: sweaters, turtlenecks, boots, winter coat, scarf, hat, and gloves
  • General: underwear, socks (lots), sleepwear
  • Optional comforts: bathrobe and shower sandals
  • Other: bug spray and sun protection

Students are responsible for laundering their clothes. See

It is strongly advised that you clearly mark all clothing, linens, and other belongings with your name.

School Supplies

Supplies may vary by class. Many of the items below are also available in the Campus Store on the lower level of the Main Building. It is a good idea to bring the following on your first day:

  • backpack
  • binders (2)
  • graphing calculator (See Mathematics Requirements)
  • hi-liters
  • loose-leaf paper
  • notebook(s)
  • paper clips
  • pencils and pens (10-plus)
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • tape

You might want to bring: envelopes, stamps, and athletic equipment as appropriate.


  • bedspread or quilt (Size: Twin Extra Long)
  • blankets
  • pillow
  • pillow cases (4)
  • sheets (4) (Size: Twin Extra Long)

Room, toiletries, and personal care items

  • alarm clock
  • desk lamp (not halogen, not multi-head)
  • flashlight
  • batteries
  • first aid items such as Band-Aids
  • bath towels, wash cloths (2-4)
  • hairbrush or comb
  • moisturizer
  • nail clippers
  • shower caddy for shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and other toiletries
  • over-the-counter medications (prescription medications and psychotropic drugs must be stored at the Health Center)
  • tissues
  • cup/mug, eating utensils, plate and bowl (Hotchkiss dining hall dishware is not permitted outside the dining hall)
  • other personal care items to consider: feminine hygiene products, hair styling tools, razors.

Other useful items to consider

  • bike, lock and helmet
  • fan (no air conditioners)
  • hangers
  • headphones
  • reading lamp for bed
  • room decorations: small rug, posters, dry-erase board, bulletin board
  • small duffel bag
  • storage bins (to fit under bed; students can bring one set of bed risers to aid in under-bed storage)
  • snacks (must be stored in enclosed bins)
  • surge-protected power strips (available in our campus store)
  • water bottle

Please do not expect overflow storage as most of our dorms do not have the capacity. Summer storage is offered through the UPS Store for a fee.

What Not to Bring

  • additional furniture
  • coffee makers with hot plates
  • extension cords
  • electric heater
  • halogen lamps or lamps with more than three heads
  • holiday lights (approved battery-operated string lights are sold in the campus store)
  • hot pot or hot plate
  • iron, ironing board
  • light bulbs
  • microwave
  • refrigerator (proctors are exempt and other students may request permission from the school physician for documented medical reasons only)
  • stove
  • toaster or toaster oven
  • X-box or other gaming equipment (proctors are exempt with parent permission)

All rooms are supplied with a bed, desk, desk chair, dresser, overhead light, trash and recycle can. These items may not be removed from the room, so please do not bring a lot of extra furniture. Anyone who brings extra is required to remove the furniture. Microwaves are provided in the common room of each dorm. All students are assigned a laptop computer, however should a student wish to have a monitor, it must be no larger than 27 inches.