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Making the Most of Hostel Life


A good number of people, at some point of time in their lives or the other, get the opportunity to have a taste of hostel life. The primary reasons for putting up in hostel/s are seeking high quality education in schools or colleges of long standing repute. (Let us confine our discussions to educational hostels alone) For the ordinary folks, this is a much cherished goal which sizeable number among them is unable to attain, mainly due to financial constraints.

A hostel represents a cross-section of the population and the society. Young people belonging to different states and regions, economic and social strata, speaking different languages, eating and dressing differently, professing diverse faiths, all come together imbued with a common purpose: pursuit of academics or research.

Nevertheless, all hostels irrespective of their size or location have certain basic norms, rules and regulations, which all the inmates must adhere to, in order to ensure a harmonious and hassle-free existence.

Let us begin at the beginning. All the inmates must observe the rules concerning waking up early, doing morning exercises, and arranging their rooms, among other things. Next, they must observe strict discipline with regard to their breakfast and other meals, utilization of baths and toilets, maintenance of hygiene,sanitation etc. The residents must also obey rules regarding outings, receiving guests, evening study, night time study, switching off the lights, keeping sound levels (of music systems/radios /conversation) to the minimum and so forth.
Life in boarding schools and college hostels offer lessons in community living, mutual adjustments, inculcates ideals of sharing and caring, kindness and compassion.

To a certain extent it teaches the young ones team spirit and joint efforts, which are likely to stand them in good stead in their future lives. Hostel life also teaches individuals to be independent, confident and capable of taking decisions on their own. In our day-to-day lives, there are plenty of instances when spoilt brats, kids of rich parents have been sent to boarding schools, so that devoid of pampering and fussing, their lives are properly molded, in order to transform them into socially responsible beings.

While residing in a hostel an individual must necessarily possess a broadened outlook on life, catholicity of taste and at least a moderate level of tolerance. One must be geared up to live in perfect amity and harmony with people from different cultural backgrounds; it would be worthwhile to imbibe new habits and customs, learn the vocabularies of other languages, garner information about religious practices, cuisine, festivals, marriages and so forth. Similarly you could disseminate information about your own cultural background to others. Such measure would help you to discover unknown (lands) places and people, which may not be possible otherwise.
Unfortunately life in most hostels has its seamier sides too. Despite apparently stringent rules and regulations, drinking, smoking, drug intakes thrive, albeit in a surreptitious manner. Worse, university and college hostels are often reported to be hotbeds of homosexuality and lesbianism, which leave a negative impact on the moral fabric of the society as well as individual psyche. The new entrants are advised to steer clear of such malpractices and habits.

There have been innumerable instances of violence and politics, especially in postgraduate hostels attached to the universities. The young freshers would do well not to get involved in such nefarious activities as it would mean deviation from their primary goal: higher education.

Hostel experience wields considerable influence on the lives of people who have stayed away from their homes and families. The onus is on the individuals to imbibe its positive influences and dispel the negative ones from their lives.

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