The truth about hostels

Fun with friends at the hostel. Photo: N. Balaji   | Photo Credit: N_Balaji

On my first day in the hostel I realised that everything people had told me about hostel life was wrong and that I knew absolutely nothing on how to survive in a hostel. A year down, I’m no expert, but here's a list of what's true and what's not.

Everybody feels homesick: False! I was the only one in my class who went on and on about home. Everyone else just assumed I was an idiot who kept hallucinating about Chennai. So if you’re one of those poor souls who miss home, you’re just going to have to face reality. You are alone in your misery!

People are friendly: True. All my initial fears whether I would make friends disappeared in a few days. I now know every single person in my hostel.

Mess food makes you long for home cooked meals: Partly true. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, can take the place of home cooked food no matter how tasty the food at the mess.

There is no such thing as privacy: True. Living in a hostel means giving up your “alone” time. You are always surrounded by people and everyone is interested in what you’re doing, whether you like it or not.

There is no ‘I’, only ‘WE’: This can be taken in a negative or positive way. Looking at the glass half full, I would say everyone is always ready to help or lend you their stuff. But of course, there is another side to this. Don’t be surprised if you enter your room and find someone else sleeping on your bed or using your things. People don’t understand the concept of knocking so either keep your door wide open or lock it. I would suggest the former because in a hostel locked doors rarely keep people out.

You become independent: This is the universal truth. Things you never bothered to do at home are now a part of your daily routine. You begin to appreciate home so much more than you ever did.

We are family: The hostel inmates are your family, at least, while you’re staying there. It’s best to share a good rapport with everyone because, come what may, you’re stuck with them for a long while. On a more serious note, I’ve discovered that some of them are willing to do things just like your family would. So be glad that they are there. I know I am.

Looking back at this one year I’ve realised that I’ve grown closer to people I’ve known for just a short while than others whom I’ve known for years during school. A wise man once said, “Home is where your heart is”. My heart is, and forever will be, in Chennai but I’m sure that as the days go by hostel and Kochi will occupy a large part of it.

JOSHITA JOTHI, II year, B.A.L.L.B. (Hons), National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 7:56:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/the-truth-about-hostels/article3682257.ece

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