Moving Out For The First Time
Although just a residential facility allowing students to continue higher education, a hostel is a student’s temporary home. In Pakistan, hostels play an essential role in student’s educational journey and provide a platform for students from different backgrounds and cultures to come together and make memories worth a lifetime. While college/university teaches you the theory of a syllabus, a hostel is what plays an essential role in your character building and teaches you how to live independently. With all the constructive discussions that construe within its hallways, it becomes the fount for new ideas and inspirations for these future graduates. Living in a hostel has drawbacks and challenges despite being a prop for student growth.
🙌 What to Expect as a Hostelite & How to Deal with it
😁 Ragging, Friends and a Suffering Work Schedule
It may sound antagonistic towards hostels, but it’s the bitter truth that undergraduate students may suffer ragging from their seniors. While it may be annoying in most cases, it can even vitiate the learning atmosphere and may negatively affect the victim, like depression and demoralisation. This ultimately leads to constant fear and tension in every student’s mind. Despite how scary this might look, be assured that ragging is just another social situation where a bunch of strangers, who do not necessarily have anything against you, attempt to prove their superiority to you and their peers. You can let them have their way as long as it is not insulting or humiliating for you and if you think it’s too much, be tactful; try to be as polite as possible and leave the scene. Also, know that you and your batch-fellows are in this together, and this too shall pass. It helps if you just take it as light activity, although it can be humiliating.
Coming to batch-fellows, we know that a person is judged by the company he keeps. Choosing the right social circle of sincere friends is a big challenge for every student. A bad company can influence you greatly and lead you astray, getting you involved in unappreciated activities like smoking or drugs and negatively affecting your studies and personality. But the reality is, it is up to you to decide your company. Although at first, you won’t be able to judge the nature and habits of the students you interact with, you will be well aware of the types of people around you as time goes by. This will be the moment for you to choose wisely, and this may seem weird or uncool, but it will help you avoid adversely affecting your studies, personality and time. So, be on good terms with everyone at the start and then judge who you want to spend your time with.
With your friends by your side, another undeniable reality of hostel life is that you are free to do things with no parental authority constantly keeping you in check. This is why you may start lacking a proper routine. This problem will have harmful effects on your education, personality, and especially, your health. By not having a routine, you won’t meet assignment or work deadlines and waste time in enjoyment and merry-making. You probably even develop the habit of being awake all night and sleeping all day. This way, as much as your academic and social life takes a hit, your lack of punctuality in eating and sleeping will make you lazy. This will hinder your cognitive function and won’t allow your body to function correctly. Ultimately, this negligence will lead to an inability to focus in class and your grades to suffer. It’s all on you to set your foot down on how you manage your time, regardless of what your friends are doing. It may seem like your peers are doing the same stuff so why not you hop on too? But scheduling and time management work differently for everyone; what works for one may not work for the others. To follow a proper routine, first, categorise your activities into different main categories that consume most of your time. Now roughly calculate the time you wish to devote to each activity, either daily or weekly. Then try to follow your schedule and keep track of your punctuality. This will highlight activities you are overspending on, motivating you to work towards them and get back on track. Don’t be hard on yourself, though! Give yourself time to adjust.
💳 Food & Finances
Food is another big challenge for new hostelites. If you have a proper hygienic mess in your hostel, then you’re probably good to go, but in some places, you have to rely on unhygienic places. This can even lead to some students falling ill in their first few days at the hostel. On the flip side, some students prefer eating at cafeterias outside the university, which would increase their expenditure, leading to another problem for students as they are not apt to manage their money: the financial crisis.
Only a few pupils have more than enough financial resources to fulfil their needs and wants. And if you spend money without keeping a check, a financial crisis is inevitable. You may not even have enough money left to buy food and drinks, which may even sometimes lead to embarrassment at gatherings.
To prevent this, you have to be responsible for everything you do. Prioritise your basic needs first and then move on to luxuries. Keep track of your expenditure and avoid overspending at the beginning of the month; this will prevent you from exceeding the budget. Always plan for contingencies, as this can avoid awkward and problematic situations. Coming back to the food, if the food at your mess is truly inedible and eating takeout or at restaurants is unavoidable, research your options in regards to finances and health, and ensure you eat healthy and affordable.
To sum up, don’t hesitate to make new friends because that hostel will be your house for the next 4/5 years, and those roommates and classmates are your second family. Also, as you are now away from home, you’ll have to take care of your food, clothing, and hygiene, which your family has taken care of in the past. For this, you will have to become more responsible. Moreover, it would be best if you took care of your belongings and personal stuff. Be sure to mark your clothes and belongings so they do not get mixed or lost. Be wary of stealing as you may sometimes cross paths with such students. Other than that, have fun! These years are your stepping stone into the real world, and you can’t endure this without actually enjoying your time. Don’t forget. At the same time, this is a journey you and your peers trek through together; it’s different for everyone, so don’t compare yourself to others.
It may look daunting initially, but when you get the hang of it, you love the hostel life!