Hostel : A Home away from Home!As a child, I grew up at home with the love of family members and enjoyed life until 9th standard. Upon entering the 10th standard, the unthinkable happened. I had to stay in the hostel for three years until 12th.
At the beginning, I refused to even consider this, was it fear? was it the thought of missing the love of parents and brothers and my favorite dog Jimmy? or was it missing my gang of buddies in the neighborhood? the lack of confidence to manage my studies on my own? In truth, it was a mixture of all.
When it became inevitable, I cursed my fate for having dealt such a cruel blow. Disheartened, dejected, with a sea of mixed emotions and a little anticipation, I started my 10th standard and got the taste of hostel life. Initially, it was harsh, the food that never tasted like mother's food, the stares from strangers, the need to share space in the room with others, being pushed around by bullies etc.
But I survived the initial few months unhurt, I slowly made friends, took up what I liked in terms of sports and the hostel facilities and got used to the food. Life was looking brighter, although, I still longed to be at home, the separation was bearable. Letters from home an short visits by family acted as a welcome buffer buoying my spirits.
By the end of six months, I had found 8 other friends and we became a close bunch. We studied hard, helped each other out with the laundry, travel and paying the fees. We enjoyed the free time by going to movies, cricket matches, learn't how to be safe on the streets and defend ourselves.
At the end of the first year, I had transformed from a pampered kid to an adolescent who could take care of myself. I was surprised that I could hold off for a year being at the hostel and actually started enjoying it. This hostel life gave me a new insight, changing bonds, new friendships, independence, doing things for myself, learning to handle separation and finances.
Away from home, I had the chance to learn and experiment the wrong things in life, take up alcohol or drugs but the desire to excel, prove myself and not to let down my parents trust, I could stay clear of all these unwanted distractions.
The golden years of hostel life taught me a whole lot of new things that I couldn't have learnt at home. Thanks to the lessons learnt at the hostel, which was in fact a 'Home away from Home' I was better equipped to enter my college life with a whole new outlook to life and no surprise, I stayed continued my hostel life for the next five years, repeating the whole cycle that I had started in my 10th standard but the only difference was that now I was looking forward to it.
My entry for TOW - Home