Ah, so it’s time. Time to step out of the comfort zone of your parent’s house and see the real world. If you are reading this, I assume you are worried about how to live in a college hostel for the first time?
Worried about the new people you’ll be meeting.
How will you make friends?
Will they accept you?
What if you encounter a fight?
These questions are but obvious and I’m sure you must be having sleepless nights because of them.
But before you even begin reading this guide of first-time hostel tips, let me tell you, ‘Don’t worry’, trust me you won’t regret this. You’ll have plenty of memories and you’ll have the best time of your life in hostel.
You’ll learn a lot of new things. Human interaction skills, social politics, and if you’re lucky you might come out being a good cook as well.
The friends you’ll make in hostel will stay on forever and the memories will be of some of the most daring things you’ll ever do. So chill, relax, and read these tips of staying in a hostel.
Tips To Survive In A Hostel For The First Time
Don’t try to rush friendship
First of all, when you get in, don’t start thinking about making friends from day 1. Give it some time and to be honest you’ll not find your own gang until the next 6 months.
Just meet people and try to understand if they are your type. People in hostel are coming from very different backgrounds. It is quite possible that what you find pretty normal might be offensive to them.
If possible try not to abuse anyone for the first 2-3 days. Abusing is pretty normal for some of us, but others may find it offensive and you would not like to make enemies before you have any friend by your side.
Avoid offensive jokes altogether for the initial days. Don’t make fun of anyone’s weight, height, or any personal trait. If you want to showcase your humorous side to the people, go easy. It’s okay to be a Normie sometimes.
Observing and taking it easy is your rule 1.
Try making good relations with the Canteen wale Bhaiya/Didi
Food is going to be a major problem and money of course. No, trust me, it doesn’t matter how much your pocket money is it won’t be enough after some time.
So, start building good relations with the mess and canteen people from day 1. This is one of the most important relations you’re going to leverage for the next 3-4 years.
Start your credit system so that you never go hungry.
Learn basic cooking
Your sleeping schedule will become a mess after some time. Don’t worry, you’ll enjoy it. You’ll be awake all night and will feel hungry of course.
Learn making Maggi at least, if you have not tried already. Get an electric kettle and a packet of dip tea.
Maggi and chai are going to become your best hunger saver for your hostel life.
If you can manage an induction, cherry on the top.
An induction will help you in making some new friends as well. People would like to be in your good books because you’ll be their hunger saver at night.
Make your gang
Once you’ve spent some 2-3 months in hostel and have known almost everyone, start making your gang. A gang of three to four people is the best.
Try to keep like minded people in your gang.
Don’t try to add more people just because you think more people will make your gang stronger. A gang of similar minded people is always better to have so that you can do mutually likable activities together.
Pro tip: If you are an outsider, try to keep one local person in your gang.
Know some locals
If you are an outsider, it is very important to know at least 3-4 good local students. Even if you don’t like them just keep them in your acquaintances’ list.
You don’t know, but you might land in some unwanted troubles in your hostel life. It is always better to have locals by your side to make your case stronger.
Find a sport to play
If you’re good at soccer, or cricket, great! Find a sport of your choice and do join the team.
College life is going to give you lots of stress. Always try to find one or two hours from your daily schedule to play the sport of your choice.
It will not only increase your social skills but also keep you physically and mentally relaxed.
If you are not good at physical sports, try to find a team hobby that you might like. Counter strike sessions are pretty normal in hostels and you might also want o to join them at night.
I’d suggest you initiate an exercise like this. This will also project you as a leader of the people.
Find someone if you’re single
Hostel life is going to be really long. You will have some good and some bad days. With your family being away, you might need someone to share your happy and sad days.
Find your partner, it will add more spark in your hostel life.
Get a good Smartphone and Internet connection
If you don’t have a smartphone already, get one asap!
It’s the most important thing you’ll own in hostel. Get an unlimited data pack and the best phone you can afford. The Internet is the one thing which will help you in curing your boredom in hostel.
It is important to stay connected with everyone. From assignments to dating chats, the Internet is going to be your lone savior.
Get in your warden’s good books
Hostel wardens are weird. They are a different breed and most of them are super strict.
Try to make a good image in their books and always try to keep them by your side. Don’t show them your mischievous side and pretend as if you don’t know anything about the complicated human world.
Basically, fool them in trusting you.
Always support your hostel mates
Remember, your hotel mates should always be your preferred choice. In case a situation arises where you have to make a choice between hostelers and others, you should always support your hostel buddies.
In case a fight happens between day scholars and Hostelers, you know where to stand.
There might be times when even your wardens and teachers would try to bribe you to spill some inside secrets but remember, never do that!
Teachers will try to bribe you for internals. Wardens will offer you for lenient entry timings. Most of the time they lie!
Choose your roommate wisely
Live with someone who is okay with all your lifestyle (and vice versa!). If you smoke and your roomie hates it, you both will not have a great time together.
Try to do a small interview session before you chose your room partner. Find his/her habits (good and bad).
Be on the same page.
If you’re not a very hygienic person, try to live with someone who is. This will ensure that at least your room is never ‘too dirty’.
Here are perfect roommate checkpoints:
- A good cook.
- Mutual hobbies.
- Decent in studies.
- Same music taste as you.
- Same web series taste as you.
- Someone who is financially on the same level as you.
- Chill person overall.
A wrong roommate choice is the cause of most of the problems of hostel life.
Develop a taste in TV Shows and Music
Firstly, try to develop a taste for the web series and music, if not already.
Then find your genre and start exploring the shows.
If you are looking for a guide, to begin with, here’s a list of the best Indian web series.
You are going to spend a good time of your hostel life in front of your laptop screen. Good shows and music will definitely make your hostel time more bearable.
Also, if you are an introvert and want to cut the world, your web series collection will come in handy.
Now, since you mostly know the thing to do, let’s try to focus on the things to avoid.
Things to avoid during your hostel life
Unnecessary gang fights
Gang fights are normal and sometimes become inevitable. But try to avoid as much as you can.
If the other gang is provoking you or a member of your gang, try to calm things down. The feeling of revenge and superiority is normal but it will only waste your precious time.
Avoid dating your friend’s crush
Emotions know no boundaries. It’s okay. But try to avoid it initially.
If you know that the person you’re trying to date is your friend’s crush, try to stop your feelings before it’s too late.
Things might get messier and you might lose some friends.
Don’t side with teachers to go against your mates
As I mentioned before as well, teachers and the college staff might try to turn you against your friends. They’ll bribe you but never fall for it.
You’ve to live with your mates, not with your teachers.
The bribe might sound pretty good in the beginning but it’ll do more harm than good.
Don’t try to start a habit just to fit in
If you don’t want to smoke or drink, it’s okay.
Don’t force yourself to start a habit just to fit in. You will never lose any friend just because you don’t drink with them.
You can join their parties and just be sober. It is more fun sometimes.
You’ll always have amazing stories to tell everyone in the morning.
Don’t just keep your studies aside
While it might not be that important to do every assignment and attend every class, don’t completely ignore your studies.
Always remember the primary reason you’re there. Try to find a good mix and balances.
It is true that hostel will teach you a lot about your social life but don’t ignore your studies to the extent that it becomes a pain. It is also important to surround yourself with people who are not completely far away from academics.
Overall, stop worrying.
College experiences are mostly great.
Personally, I have met almost no one with bad hostel experiences. You’ll learn a lot. A LOT!
Hostel life is better than the real life.
And when you’ll complete your 3-4 years of hostel, trust me you’re gonna miss it a lot.
Lastly, click lots of pictures and try to do as much fun as possible. Push yourself. Try and do things you were always frightened to do.
Bunk that class if you have never. Go for a drive with your friends. Dance in the corridor.
You’ll not get these years back. Have the most fun possible.
Best of luck! You’ll do well.
If you have already lived in a hostel, help out the other new folks and drop your hostel experiences in the comments section below.