Out of all the reasons to travel, ‘College away from home’ is one of the best goals in a student life. It is a ‘learn it the hard way’ experience where you understand yourself, defy your fears, gain confidence and enjoy independence. It is essential that one should consider hostel life at least once in his/her life; ideally for college as there is a certain amount of maturity for the age. After moving from a well pampered Indian family it would seem like a high dose of responsibility; No more bed coffees, no more pressed clothes in shelf and nobody to find the pair of your lonely sock. Living all by yourself for the first time would definitely be hard, even scary. But in the end, you just don’t find knowledge, adventure or freedom, more than anything, you find YOU.
Make new connections
Campus life is a wonderful platform that brings similar minds from diverse demographic and cultural backgrounds under one roof. Learn to socialize and adapt yourselves to a new lifestyle. Make more friends with the natives irrespective of their age. Take guidance to know nearby localities’ required for daily needs. If you are an introvert who has trouble with making a conversation, Smile and greet. It is good to make new connections and maintain a healthy relationship.
Unique culture, food, and language
Be a part of the local festivals and celebrations. Hear the stories behind them and the reason why they are celebrated. You will be amazed by the richness each culture holds.Try the local cuisines. Food is always an essence of every ethnicity. It truly represents the nature of the people living in that area. Also be ready to learn the regional language and pump up some confidence to be bold enough to speak it out. People enjoy hearing someone try to speak their native language. It’s alright to make mistakes. Just dare to try it out. Never let fear hold you back.
Exposure to cooking, washing your own clothes and vessels are insightful moments when you praise your mother in your head with all your heart. You eventually learn to be a ‘Do it yourself’ person. You understand the value of money every time you burn a hole in your pocket and wait until next month for your parents to pay you again. Keeping your belongings safe is also an art that one learns in a hard way. Every hostelite has had the experience of being locked out of your own room at least once. In the due course, you also become skilled at organizing and managing your things.
Breath of independence
With no one to monitor, hostel life gives you the feel of ultimate freedom. Enjoy the independence but use it well. Don’t forget that you have been given this independence because you are being trusted. Avoid misusing it. It calls for great self-control in doing what you think is right. Trust your instincts and never give heed to peer pressure.
Travel a lot
Beyond the academic walls is a new city waiting to be explored. Know your environment. Never hesitate to travel with new people and discover new places. Dare to pack up and look for adventure. Most campuses have clubs or groups that travel to the nearby site. Maintain a travelogue- it makes a wonderful memory for every place you visited. Make the best out of the time available and make every weekend count.
Manage time effectively
There sure was a time when your mom would wake you with a hot cup of coffee or would beat you out of bed when you are running late. Expect no such pampering in a hostel. If you plan to be on time better hear your own alarm and wake up before your roommate occupies the shower. There is no fixed routine beyond college hours in the campus. It is up to you to organize, plan and decide on how to go about your day. Most professors love to scroll through the index and say “I’m sure you can read this yourself”. Having a personal timetable would help reduce stress during exam season as well as give enough time to explore extra curriculars.
Maintain your personal space
Though friends become family in a new land try to maintain a certain distance. It is true there isn’t much formality amongst yourselves. But it is best to avoid having any embarrassing moment in the future. Know that too much of anything is bad and learn to be selfish at times. Never lend anything that you can’t afford to lose, even if it is one of your close friends. Talk clearly with your friends and roommate about certain things that annoy you or interfere in your personal space. Be sure to reciprocate the same.
Learn to learn
Ultimately, you have traveled all the distance to expand your knowledge in a certain field. Do justice to it. Have the curiosity to know and question everything. Use the library and discuss subject matters with your fellow mates. Talk to the professors in case you have difficulties coping with the subject or language. They would definitely be willing to help you overcome them. More than WHAT to learn, HOW to learn is the life skill that institutions teach you. Formulate what type of learning suits you and work your magic.