Have you ever lived in a hostel? Never spent life in a hostel? Then you’ve missed something important in life. Hostel life is carefree, flamboyant, fun-filled and liberal. Life dances on your finger-tunes, and you are free like a free bird. Just as an eagle is the king of the sky with the whole world beneath its feet, you get the wings like an eagle.
No worrying about parents’ scolds, doing whatever your heart says, your desires manifested and fun at its helm. All are the pros of living a hostel life. As the popular belief says, a child gets spoil if kept in the hostel, that’s not true. I’ve rather give my example.
I have lived life as an hostelier for three years of my engineering degree course. I still get the kind of nostalgic feeling when I walk down my memory lane. My hostel … was like my fortress! My hostel was the palace of my kingdom I made during my hostel years. One cannot describe the feeling of living in a hostel. One has to experience it for the kind of goose-bumpy sensation it gives when it triggers our nostalgia.
In the hostel, you are surrounded by people of the same age group around, and thus you get ‘friends for life.’ As it was said in a popular college movie, “We make a lot of friends in our lives, but school & college friends, have a special place in our lives. They know us better than our parents, because something which we can’t share with our family, we can discuss it with them without fear of being judged.”
Let us look at the factors that can only be learnt by living in hostel.
Oh, so what is homesickness? Living in protected family environs is an excellent thing, but getting attached to one thing very keenly is not that good. Because we all grow up, and we need to independent. Our parents want us to stand on our own feet without the umbrella of somebody overlooking them. Our family is our shell, and we come out of our shells in a hostel to experience the real world.
A feeling that we are always protected by someone can turn negative sometimes. We become dependent on our family even for pettiest of reasons. This is very bad for our maturation to youth from adolescence. If a child gets everything he demands easily; there is a maximum chance of that child getting spoil. If he knows he’ll get support even if he’s wrong, the child is bound to get spoil.
When a child leaves his home from a protected environment of the family to a strange environment, there’s bound to have some homesickness. I still remember the day when my mother left me alone in a hostel for the first time, I wanted her to take me along with her. I was already 18 by that time, but the fact of getting separated from my mother made me behave like a 4-year-old.
For the initial few days, I didn’t like anything; I missed my home badly. I used to cry inside while faking a smile outside, as I feared the other boys would make fun of me. But the fact was, everybody gets homesickness feeling for the first few days, whether they admit or not.
I used to countdown the remaining days to get back home, and I used to call my mom five times a day. Mobiles are popular today so that we can make calls to our family anytime we want, but I wonder what would be the condition of kids when mobile phones were not popular.
As the days began to pass, I started to adjust to the new life. This homesickness feeling is experienced by everyone who opts for hostel life. It makes you stronger and helps your emotional well-being. Today, when we talk about how we used to cry in early days of hostel life, we laugh on these things today.It’s ironic that today, we laugh on stuff we cried then, and cry on things we laughed that time.
Every parent wants to make his child self-reliant. No amount of giving responsibilities and scolds will make the child self-reliant while he’s still in the home. Because I’ll give my example. While I was at home, I knew that I could get everything done away with. I never even considered the importance of some useful daily things in life.
For instance, at home, you have your parents around you whenever you need them. You don’t have to worry about washing clothes like we used to do in the hostel. I never thought I’d wash clothes in my life, that too without washing machine, but being in the hostel made me do so.
Also, when you are sick, you’ve parents running to look after you, but during hostel days, you have to worry about yourself. There are many other day-to-day things that you need to look after yourself. I never really considered these things when I was at home.
Living in the hostel, you realize how life is comfortable at home. But that doesn’t mean hostel life is a servant’s life. We all are our own servants in hostel days.
At home, doing things were optional. But in the hostel, you cannot just miss it. For example, if you never filled water in your cool pets, you’d go on thirsty; if you forgot to wash your clothes, you’d have to wear that dirty clothes in college; you needed to adjust to everything without making complaints, and many other small things.
Today I never make complaints about anything because I know how grilling life in a hostel can be. But in all, I used to enjoy doing all this. In the hostel, we are not dependent on anybody to do anything like at home we are on our families. Because in a hostel we know, if you are not going to do your work, nobody else is going to do it. So by hook or by crook, you had to it.
Never Make Complaints about Food
One of the reasons we should thank Almighty because we are getting food to eat. The world’s 50% population does not get proper food to eat. At home, we used to complain our parents for not making a particular dish, but during our hostel years, we do not have choices.
It’s a different matter that we can buy whatever we wanted in a hostel, but sometimes, the hostel mess food used to be so pathetic that it could not be even swallowed down the throat. But we have eaten such food too. When you are deadly hungry, you can even eat a cactus. And you’ll find that cactus tasty as well. I’m speaking from my own experience.
We had food mess where we used to get daal-chaval daily, along with some crap they called as vegetables. We had one question on looking daal: Is this daal or water colored in yellow? And the rice was never nice. But when stomach dances on tunes of hunger, you’ll find even that plain daal-chaval the tastiest delicacy in the world. On weekends they provided us consolation prize with a tasteless sweet dish, which exactly resembled the saying, “Cat on a pilgrimage after eating 900 rats.”
As Chetan Bhagat describes in his book, there is a golden rule of hostel: Never waste food even when in pain. Yes, it stands true. Once I had money in the pocket, but all the food shops around my college (which was 5 km away from the main town) were shut. I could not even find one packet of Maggi, which is a savior for all hostel walas. I had to wait for all the way till evening, when Mess starts, just to put a morsel of food down my throat. Then I realized the actual worth of money: you can’t eat money, it’s made of paper, and you need real food to survive.
Today, after living in hostel, I never really complain about food & I find all other foods at home extremely tasty. I show gratitude to God for giving me proper food to it. So this is one more advantage of hostel life.
Independent and Care-Free Life
Most of the students who have never been at hostels get attracted to hostel life for this reason only. They can live their own carefree life without the interference of their parents. They can do whatever they want to; nobody’s going to scold or stop them. Life will be at its best when you’re let free like a bird.
Yes, even for me, when my homesickness died down after days passed, I became free like a bird. I had the world at my feet, and I could do anything I always desired. I could stay awake whole night, wear any clothes, watch anything, eat anything; nobody was there to stop me. In fact, those around me had same wishes like me.
In a hostel, we feel that India is an independent country. And it feels nice to be independent! Far away from home, just following our heart and enjoying every moment of life.
In words of Shah Rukh Khan, “We feel like the king of the world” during our hostel days. We cannot be old and wise if were never young and crazy. A hostel is a place where we go young and do stupidest of things.
One thing to note that, full independence can make young minds go wrong way too. So one needs to have self-control on one’s evil desires not to lead the wrong path. But whatever, apart from that, there is unparalleled independence in hostel world.
Enjoyment at its Best
When we talk about hostel life and independence, fun forms a larger part of it. I was reprimanded by a lot of people that “Study well. Fulfill your dream. Be an engineer.” In fact, they all wanted me to shun all the fun that comes with hostel life. They wanted me to stay in dark rooms, wear large spectacles and study my ass out. Yes, they had a point that parents are spending so much on our education so you should give them back. But all things apart, under the burden of studies, one should not miss the fun of hostel life.
This life is full of fun, and we should enjoy these days to fullest. Many people overthink about many rights and wrongs. It’s hostel days, and it’s perfectly fine to have a bit of mischief.
It’s okay if you bunk one or two lectures to watch your favorite movie. It’s completely good when you all gather at ‘katta’ for seeing an IPL match. The euphoria at college gatherings, the late-night parties, the birthday celebrations, roaming around girls’ hostel, carom board games, NFS & counter-strike competitions, teasing each other with crush names’, unpaid canteen bills, late-night group studies, parties over results and many small moments that cannot be described in mere words. These are memories! The memories that will give you joy after you pass out the college.
The hostel life is a fun-filled life. Friends, roomies, besties, lovers, haters, teachers, cats, dogs, chai-wala uncles, rickshaw-drivers this that etc. etc. All of them form part of your hostel life, even if you want or not. So whoever you encounter during your hostel days is going to be un-erasable part of your hostel memory.
Well, this gets me emotional! I had a different definition of ‘friend’ when I never went to the hostel, they were just someone who was of my age, and we used to hang out together, products of college or any other things. I had a different set of friends for different occasions – playground friends, building friends, school friends, college friends, classes friends and blah blah blah … Then I came to a hostel. Then I learned what friendship means. Friends are not physical human beings, but they are connected through souls. While this may sound a bit over the top, but I had only this to describe them.
At times, hostel life is very harsh. But only things that keep us going all these formative years is the strong bond of friendship. The weak, underrated kid suddenly becomes strong as the lion when there are friends around. This is the best thing about hostel life. In fact, the most significant advantage of hostel life is the friends we find there. The friends bond formed during hostel days are ‘Friends of Life’ and ‘Best Friends Forever.’
They know our secrets and weaknesses and still walk together holding our hands. Friendship is the essence of hostel life. Be it fighting with each other for silly reasons, or trying to outdo each other for impressing a beautiful girl, be it long rides around the campus, or gathering at certain point of college, or sharing each other’s clothes, eating each other’s’ Tiffin, silly bets in truth/dare game, exam time tea night-outs, sport trials any many more things.
The ups and downs of hostel life are experienced together by our friends. If not for friends, all the above advantages of hostel life may sound be null and void. It is friends who invoke life to dead boring days. Nobody can ever survive the harshness of hostel life, if unaccompanied by our besties.
We share everything together: our smiles, our tears, our happiness, our jealousies, our excitements. Everything gets meaning when there are friends around. When we fight with our friends during hostel days, we cuss we’ll never see their faces again, but then when the foul mood gets away, we say, “Where we’ll go without them?”
It is sarcasm of hostel life that when you enter it as a fragile kid, you want it to get over as soon as it can. You wait for your graduation day with lots of passion. But when the day finally arrives, your heart wants more of it. You don’t want your hostel life to end. The reality of getting separated from friends is tough to digest. The truth scares us: we are going to grow up, and our ways will be parted forever.
Yes, we’ll be in touch in social media but the heart-to-heart chord, only a hug can accomplish. We find a home apart from our home, and that’s the reason we are strongly attached to these emotions.
Apart from education, we are being educated on how to live ‘real’ life. How to get up after falling, what life has in store for us, and all other things crash our head.
As we go on, we remember. All the time we spent together. As our lives change, come whatever. We’ll still be friends forever.
When the hostel life ends, it’s an end of an era. All we have in our eyes is tears and a bagful of beautiful memories! Whatever memories are, they are ours, and we can recollect it any point in our lifetime.
So, guys, hostel life is the most important learning curve in our lives. It shapes the course of our lives. And then we madly get involved in the race of life, leaving the beautiful times we spent in hostel behind.
So guys, What is your best part or Advantage Hostel Life? Please feel free to express your feelings in the comment section below.
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