Nights in a Hostel: A First Look

We have all faced the fear of living away from home. And spending nights without our beloved bed is something that is bound to be hard to digest. Will I be able to sleep properly? How would I adjust in a hostel? Will the pillow be too lumpy? How will I sleep without counting the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling? These questions keep poking at us, before joining a college. But believe me, once you’ve lived enough in the hostel, you’ll miss it every time you’re home.

Perm Time

The first thing you need to get accustomed to is the hostel perm time. While the first-year students must be inside the hostels before 10:00 PM, the seniors enjoy the outer freedom till 11:00 PM. Signing the attendance register and punching in on the biometric machine is compulsory, the lack of which has its own consequences.

Your Room

If you choose a double-sharing room, your roommate largely influences your nightlife. He/she might be either the ‘early to bed, early to rise’ kind or the insomniac kind. However, almost everyone falls into the latter category soon after joining the hostel. While everyone believes sleepless nights improve productivity, they’re very often actually spent chatting and scrolling through social media collectively. If it comes to you naturally, well and good, but even if you don’t see it happening soon, try to sleep.

Sleep

Deny it all you want, but every human needs at least six hours of sleep every day. Yes, even an engineer! And trying to do something productive by sacrificing sleep won’t lead you anywhere, except during examinations (of course!). If you don’t want to spend the forthcoming day all dizzy and low, lie down and try to sleep. Stop thinking about the surprise quiz you haven’t prepared for or about the girl you saw but couldn’t muster enough courage to talk to. SLEEEEP!

Pro-tip: Bring 2-3 single bedsheets from home. Buy pillows in Manipal the day you arrive.

Note: Remove the bedsheet a day before your birthday.

Still here? Well, I guess you already know that that’s not everything about life in hostels. This brings me to the actual list.

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Gaming

Yes, you guessed it right, now stop being a sexist. Yes, I am a boy and gaming is the first thing I can think of. Gaming scenes are quite intense in the boys’ hostels. You can find a gamer in pretty much every room. FIFA and Counter-Strike are the two most popular multiplayer games followed by Blur and DotA. If you are interested in gaming, buy a decent gaming controller like the Logitech F310 Gamepad. Gaming contests are held frequently.

Cooking

Whether it’s the assignment that worries you or the homesickness, food is the solution to everything. There is a night canteen in every boys’ hostel, providing tea, coffee, chips etc., which is normally open until 12 AM. But if you wish to have a meal, you can always order from the several eateries which deliver food to your hostel. The night canteens and messes deliver to blocks within the campus till 11 PM. If you’re ordering from a restaurant off-campus, you will have to go to the nearest gate and collect your parcel. For ordering options, check out FoodZoned online, Manipal’s very own Swiggy. If it’s way past time to order or you’re broke (like always), you can always give cooking in an electric kettle a shot, Maggi stereotypically being the most popular option.

TV Shows

Now, this is the field every college teen takes an interest in. TV shows rule your everyday talks and are a perfect way to get through the night. Which TV show to watch depends on your favourite genre. However, the most watched ones would be F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, BBT, and Suits. If you are an anime fanatic, a whole other world awaits you. College is also the time to veer off the beaten track in your TV show-viewing. Rest assured, there’s someone on your floor with a hard disk containing shows you’ve never even heard of. Don’t be afraid to diversify and check out new shows too.

Assignments

Not the best thing to do during the night, but surely the most important. Assignments are basically your academic progress trackers and the source of surprise quiz questions. Honestly, the compulsion to solve them will leave your soul after the first assignment. But if you are up for the challenge, solve the assignments. Moreover, you can write the solutions in a separate notebook which will definitely help you during examinations.

Learning

College is the best time to discover yourself and the night is the best time to surf the internet. Instead of watching movies and other stuff, look for your interests. You can learn absolutely everything on the internet, even how to hack your college Wi-Fi. Find an interesting course on Udacity, edX or The Khan Academy. More specifically, Coursera offers some courses exclusively to MIT students free of cost. These courses range from graphic design to management to machine learning. Learn a new language on Duolingo. Or maybe a musical instrument. Or start playing a new sport.

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Interact

This is quite essential for your early days in college. Away from home, your college friends become your family. Homesickness doesn’t leave by itself, it takes time. Everyone you are friends with was a stranger once –  the same applies to college. Don’t hesitate to extend your hand forward and introduce yourself. Interact with the new people you meet, make friends. You never know how deep a friendship will develop.

-Ayush Agrawal for MTTN

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