A home away from home



It’s just been over six weeks since I left my family and home to move into a hostel. I’ve known that I would be studying at Manipal University for the past four months but my feelings about leaving home to do so have changed radically through these days. The first few months were consumed by the excitement that I would be going to a great college and living alone without parents nagging me about every little thing. Once I started packing my bags, reality then hit me, I realized that it would take some time to get used to the fact that our family won’t be around to help us in such tiny yet valuable matters.

When my parents and sister departed after I had moved into my hostel room, I felt unbelievably sad. I felt terrified, homesick and confused, all at the same time. Next came the exhaustion by the thought of taking care of everything on my own – from buying books and toiletries to washing my own clothes and coming to terms with the fact that it’ll be another few months before I get to eat “home food”. Another thing any hosteller have to handle is plumbing issues (there are major plumbing problems in few hostel rooms) or water leakages in the room, by calling the plumber or other repairmen. If you’re really unlucky, like I was, you might find all sorts of creepy crawlies in your room. Some of my friends had bed bugs, cockroaches and lizards in their rooms but trust me, you don’t know what fear is until you find red ants in your underwear!

All these little frustrations tire you out and without your family, the people who’ve been by your side your entire life, it’s really easy to get angry or depressed or both. The good thing is that you find everyone around you going through the exact same thing and friends make everything easier than they would have been, if you were alone. You meet people from all over the country and from different countries, as well! Sharing your experiences with them changes your perspective of life. You eat every meal and grumble about the food with your friends, you go to class with them and even live in the same building. College is where your friends are your family. The homesickness slowly fades off as classes start in full swing and with video chatting just a tap away, we can see our family and talk to them at any time of the day. You know your life has changed when you start calling your hostel room – “home”!


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Aishwarya Vishwanath

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