Hostel. Your second Home. Sweet for some but bittersweet for others. But living in a hostel is an experience like no other. It is a place where all your primal survival skills are put to the test, and you are surprised to discover different aspects of your personality that you never knew existed.
Staying with someone you haven’t grown up with is a tedious thing. Initially you tend to feel homesick but gradually you tend to adjust and adapt to the changes. Missing breakfasts after waking up late makes you browse the internet for the nearest food stalls available. And there you go, exploring places nearby you. As you enter the building, the first or second question you have is ‘what’s the Wi-Fi password?’ Your Facebook and Instagram friends list suddenly starts overflowing. You learn to sleep peacefully even in chaotic places (including during classes). No matter how messed up the hostel room is, the only thing you’ll ever complain about is the Wi-Fi.
You have to walk out of your comfort Zone, though at home you were treated like a Princess or Prince. It’s time to let go of all that and learn to adapt quickly! At home, when mother cooked different delicacies, our complaints never ended. Now here in the hostel, in times of a crisis, you learn to be able to eat anything that is edible without complaining. This is a habit every hostelite acquires in no time at all.
Staying with people from various backgrounds and culture, of different habits, different languages and varied characters is really interesting. You realize, there are other types of people in this world, other than yourself, who have grown up differently, think differently, and live differently. You learn to accept, tolerate and ignore what is unacceptable, protect yourselves and take it all in your stride patiently.
You learn never to judge a book by its cover. Hostel is also a place where every person living there becomes like a family member to you. The warden and the cleaning lady become more like mothers, the hostelites more like sisters, and the security guard like a father. The best friends I made in my hostel had nothing in common with me but we still had the best laughs, stories and gossips together.
Living away from family is the toughest part of hostel living. There’s nobody to look after you when you’re sick or having a bad day. You will learn how to save your money and live within a budget. You will also learn to keep your valuables safe.
You start discovering more of yourself each day, how strong you are, how much fun you can be, how much patience you have, how to still stand up when you feel low. Even learning beauty tricks like plucking your own eyebrows, applying mehendi, eggs and oil on your hair all night to look good for an event next day. Singing, dancing, sharing jokes and laughing into the night, eating Maggi noodles when you are really hungry at night especially during exam times. This is what makes hostel days what they are.
As you can see, all these memories stay with us for life, and hostel friends are forever. And the experiences you have here, may it be good or bad are the lessons learnt for life.
– Nilufar Sayyad