When I talk about my college life, it’s impossible to not talk about me staying in the hostel. That’s an extremely huge part of my entire journey!
When you move away from home, it’s really daunting. You’re scared, worried and also excited for this new adventure of yours. I felt all of these emotions and more. But I did not expect everything else that would come after me!!
I’m gonna divide this post into sections and then tell you about everything in detail! That seems like the best way to talk about this.
So in the first year, my roommates were two seniors – a final year student and a second year one, and three batchmates. One of them was from the same division as me, so that was nice.
I…didn’t get along with my senior roommates. They were the kind that would go around parading the fact that they were seniors which meant we had to respect them and listen to their orders. There was this unsaid rule that we need to call them “didi”, tell them what we do, ask them before going out and live in the room according to their rules. And this didn’t sit well with your girl. 💁🏻♀️
It just wasn’t them though. They had this entire ‘senior gang’ and we had to treat all of them this way. My same-year roommates and I didn’t like it. It was so forced. We had rights too! But what could we even do? We were newbies!
Regardless of the people there, I had a super hard time adjusting to the environment there. The entire first year was the hardest.
But I am glad I had really nice Year-1 roommates. We all got along well. It helped me be sane. One of them became a close friend of mine too!
Year-2 came along and this meant that the seniors went away. It was a huge sigh of relief. There were two rooms of ours that were so well knit together, it felt like we were one room itself! We’d all go together to have meals at the mess, walk to class and sit around in one of the rooms and talk. It was pretty cool.
My roommates now were three new admission kids and my previous same-year roommates. Two out of the three of them were something else. They would actually just take stuff without consent and also steal stuff like biscuits!! It was kind of scary towards the end. Thank God they left our room the next year 😂
In Year-3 I had 3 new MBA students as roommates. My God, what chaotic people were they! They would keep screaming at their s/o on the phone every night and we would just stare in shock! There would be fights amongst themselves too every second day. This one girl, had the most drama that surrounded her. For attention she would just cry, so that we would sit by her side for an hour. It was just downright chaos. Sometimes it would be funny, and sometimes annoying. But rest assured, no one was gonna stay bored in that room!
All in all, I had a weird set of roommates in all the three years. No wonder I had a headache every other day!
How can I not talk about food when I talk about hostel?!
So, we had a mess on-campus. For the ones who don’t know what that means (or maybe there’s another word for it but I can’t recall), it’s a place that’s sort of like a canteen but they cook all your 3 meals there itself and give it to you. They cook, you eat.
I was not a fan of the food. It was completely different from what I was used to.
Talking about the food items, not the texture of the food. We shall come to that in a while…
The food that was cooked was mostly from the Maharashtrian cuisine. And here I was, a South Indian that loves North Indian food.
I didn’t know most of the dishes that was being served! I used to literally pick at my food to see what it’s made of because I would be so confused. My roommates would actually guide me on how to eat some of it! And also pass remarks…
Once a week or two they would give us North Indian food and your girl here would wait all week just for that. I used to have actual tears seeing this. And when I would sit to eat everyone around would start complaining about this ‘different’ food and how it should not be in the menu anymore. I’d just stuff myself with the food while being happy and sad at the same time.
When I was in my Third Year, the boys successfully took out the two – three North Indian dishes from the menu. As everyone rejoiced, I was in pain. It was just so sad for me 😭
Coming to the quality of the food now, it sucked. The food was incredibly oily and also really watery. Sometimes the food would be good but they weren’t consistent at keeping the food quality up. I then learnt that some of the food actually required to be watery so it started to be a me-problem because I just wasn’t used to the food they gave. But all in all, it was okay. It was eatable. I mean, that’s how mess food is usually right? You eat only to fill yourself. After all nothing can beat home made food!!
The Warden + Hostel Rules
When I joined the hostel, the warden at the time was an amazing person. She was really sweet and understood us. When I struggled initially she helped me out a ton. I had grown to like her but she had to leave. And then came the next warden….
This lady was the absolute worst. She would be really sweet to you on your face, but when it comes to anything she wouldn’t have you back. Infact she would go against you.
She brought in a lot of stricter rules, and never gave permission to go out on the weekends easily even if our parents would call and tell her they want us to go. If she saw you on campus and you were talking to a classmate that is a guy, she would judge you in the hostel. We were adults, not kids!!
She had this notion that all the girls lie to their parents and that everyone was spoilt hence she would do all this. But it was just really unfair. It was suffocating. If someone had their birthday we’d celebrate it at 12 midnight. She would then come barging in saying how dare we make so much noise, and that our parents never taught us anything.
It’s a birthday…..from where did all this nonsense come?
She also had problems with how girls would dress up in their rooms and this we found funny. Because we just didn’t care anymore.
If we either went out, or were returning from home, she would always refuse to send a college car to pick us up from the bus stop and drop us at campus. Let me tell you, the entire forest-like up-hill path from the bus stop till the main gate was a 20 minute long walk. All she had to do was make a call. But she wouldn’t do that.
There was this one incident where my group planned to go to the city on a Sunday to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was 5pm but we didn’t get any city buses to the college so we called ma’am up to inform her that we could be late. Her phone wasn’t reachable. By the time we got a bus and reached the college bus stop, it was 6:30pm. We called her up and told her we needed a college car to take us to the hostel and she refused saying it was our fault for coming late! In absolute shock we started fighting with her saying we didn’t come late on purpose and that it was dark, we were scared to walk on that creepy path alone. She said, “I don’t care, I am not calling anyone.” My friend and I, who were the only 2 girls got scared. We had guys in our group who said they would walk with us. But while walking I called my parents up and told them what happened. My mom called her up and blasted at her, saying that my safety was in her hands. She tried to blame us it seems, but my mom didn’t listen to any of it. Halfway, we saw a college car coming towards us 😌
After reaching the hostel, the ma’am called my friend’s parents to tell them atleast about how ‘characterless’ we were. But as my friend had also told her parents about the entire thing, and her brother was also with us, they knew the truth + they knew all of us so knew we weren’t like that. So her plan failed again. That ma’am didn’t speak to us for 2 weeks because of this and that’s what still amuses me.
After Year-3, I left the hostel and stayed in the main city. I rented out a flat with 4 other girls and that was the best decision I had taken. All these factors just drove me out of the hostel without even turning back once!
The hostel experience truly changed me. I also got to know so much about such diverse lifestyles and cultures, and that’s something that makes me happy. I also enjoyed the little parties that were thrown for birthdays. The big parties like Freshers and Farewell? Not so much because there was always drama there, either related to the food or the warden 🤷🏻♀️
I don’t know if anyone had such an experience like mine in the hostel. A lot of them miss it now. But me? I would never like to step back in there. I hated it.
And I will hate it for the rest of my life.