Thursday, 12 July 2012

Hostel Life : Part 1

I started staying in a hostel a little later in life than people usually do. I joined a hostel during my graduation when I turned 17 and not while I was in school. For those not in India, Hostel means dorms and it doesn't necessarily have to be on campus or even owned by the college or university. I have stayed in two hostels in my life. one during my graduation and the other time when I was doing my MBA. In total I've lived in hostels for 6 yrs of my life, the last 2 of which were all in all the best years of my life. So far.

My first hostel was an OK place, though my sister would say it was the worst place EVER to live in. It was a small room with two bunk beds, so we were 4 to a room. I didn't have a problem sharing my room with my roommates as I never really had a room of my room to begin with. The food was terrible I admit but there were good eateries nearby. I also had great friends who were Day-scholars ( students who go to college from home) whose mothers were great cooks. They used to get a little something extra for me almost everyday. So I enjoyed that.

My parents were a little worried that i might not fare very well in a hostel environment but to their surprise (and mine) I managed pretty well. they were worried for me as they thought I might get pushed around a lot seeing as I wasn't very assertive at home, and i depended on them to get a lot of things done. But once I got to the hostel I fares fairly well. My reasoning was that when i was at home i knew that my parents would take care of things, but once I was out from under their wing I learnt to handle things on my own.

Me being in the hostel was also one of the reasons that made me come out of my shell. I made friend on my own and actually made best friends for the first time. Not just one though but THREE. We had a lot of fun. I was such a good child that i used to play hooky from classes with the consent of my parents. This was a testament to the trust they had in me to not do anything stupid. I am lucky to have the parents that I have as they were alright with me going out with my friends. Within limits of course. My grades were not to be effected. And they weren't. I guess having smart friends was advantageous.

The advantages of being away from home was not taken used by me but my friends. You see in our quartet I was the only one who was single. And 2 out of the 3 friends who were in a relationship took full advantage of me. How you ask? they would tell their parents they were going out to meet me seeing as I was the lonely kid away from home, and go out and meet their boyfriends. Another plus was that my hostel was in the middle of the city. It was fairly near to all the places one would go to date. What was in it for me you ask? I got their undying gratitude and entertainment.

I also made a lot of friends in the hostel itself. we were a mix of students and working women. Whenever college was out for holidays and I couldn't go home all of us at the hostel used to go out to shop, eat and just hang out. Our daily ritual was to go out for ice cream every night at half past nine. We used to rush to the convenience stores nearby. This was a ritual which was upheld come rain or shine. there were three shopping complexes in walking distance from our hostel. So whenever we were bored we would go to these complexes and window shop. We would try on clothes and take pictures in them but not buy a single thing.

For me it was like an extended sleepover. We stayed up late in to the night talking and giving each other beauty treatments ( I mostly refrained from this), watched movies on the lone laptop, gossiped and there was a lot of drama.I did have my share of problems. the food was terrible. I often starved myself for a day before I had anything. I actually had a severe case of anemia by the time I left the hostel. But all in all this is an experience I would never trade in for anything.

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