DUB Speak

Perks of living in a hostel: How it changes you for the better

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As final year slowly draws in and the curtains of my college life fall, memories from the three years gone by often reflect in the mirror of my mind. In such pensive moments as these I realise, that amongst the many things that I will miss, the one thing I hold most dear to my heart is the experience of living in a hostel.

As a single girl child, growing up, I had always been pampered and spoilt silly. So much so, that by the end of class twelfth, I had become grossly dependent on my parents. My lack of self-sufficiency worried my family. They feared that I would be a complete disaster if I had to ever make a living for myself. Their qualms were scarcely misplaced: when I moved into a hostel as a fresher, I made a complete mess of my life in the initial few months.

I had emotional as well as physical problems. I couldn’t adapt to community living. I hated the food at the mess. My obsession for neatness turned fatal as most of the other girls were extremely negligent about hygiene and tidiness. I couldn’t deal with the idea of sharing the washroom with five other girls. My room felt too small. Concentrating on studies became increasingly difficult with my wild neighbours playing music all the time. My sleeping patterns were thrown off their normal equilibrium and honestly, the list of complaints is endless!

When I went back home for the mid-semester break, I threw a feral fit. I firmly told my parents I wasn’t going back to that hellhole of a place and when they refused to give in, I threatened them and eventually went into a state of denial. That’s how I spent my ten-day week away from hostel.

When I returned, I carried the heaviness of depression for a week more. But one fine day, it struck me that in this apparently grim situation, I was the only unhappy soul. Neither the hostellers in my immediate environment, nor my parents back home suffered. The misery seemed specific to me. And that made me realise that I was the creator of my own sadness. When I complained and whined about my grievances, no one offered to help because at the end of the day, no one really could. It was my wish to study at DU and living in the hostel was simply the price I had to pay for it.

That day, I decided to turn my life around. I woke up to the hard truth that the life I had was the one I had chosen and so I ought to live it to the best of my abilities. Not much had been lost, I told myself, and made the firm choice to give life another shot. And just that one change in mind completely changed me.

Today, I am so independent that I am not just doing things for myself, but also for others.  From being served food to making it myself; from throwing my dirty laundry around the room to washing every handkerchief with my own bare hands; from snoozing alarms and waking up at noon to rising with the crack of dawn and going for a run, I have become a whole new person. Everyone seems to appreciate the new me. My parents, in fact, are so complacent with my independence that now, when I speak of my plans of going abroad for higher education, they are not just encouraging but alsoconfident that I will survive.

College life has been a great journey. And the hallmark has, indubitably, been my three-year stint in the hostel. They say that every person should live away from home at least once in their life, because only then does one get the chance to explore and find their own path in life. I couldn’t agree more.

Kriti Sharma
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Kriti Sharma is studying BCom (Hons) at Hansraj College. She has a myriad interests, writing being just one of them. A debater, a scholar, a fashionista, she is more of an outdoors person who likes to run 6-8 km a day, just to clear her head. She is an ‘Army Brat’, but an unlikely one. Reading a book by lantern light in a tent by the banks of river Indus after a hard day’s trek in the mountains is her idea of bliss. She wants to be an investment banker but admits that writing lets her escape into a world of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

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