What are the pros and cons of hostel life? Well, this is the most common search query. So I thought to explain the advantages as well as disadvantages of living in a hostel based on my firsthand experience in this essay.
I’ve been living in a hostel for almost 05 years. This has had quite an overwhelming impact on my overall life. I was so shy, timid, and introvert before leaving home. But, the hostel has made me quite an opposite person.
The very thought of leaving the comfort of home and starting a hostel life for the first time definitely gives us chills. But remember! Success starts outside of the comfort zone.
If you’re getting a chance to start a new life; a hostel life, always welcome the change provided the benefits associated with hostel life.
So, let’s discuss some prominent advantages of living in a hostel.
Advantages of a Hostel Life
Discussed below are some of the most prominent benefits of living a life in a hostel.
Leaving Your Comfort Zone – A New Beginning
Leaving your home and starting a new life in a hostel is akin to leaving your comfort zone and stepping into an uncomfortable zone.
Well, if the above statement is giving you a panic attack; just relax because you aren’t the first one on earth to leave home for the hostel.
Moreover, there are multiple advantages associated with this new and initially uncomfortable life in the hostel.
A home is a comfort. No worries about food, laundry, and other basic needs.
On the other hand, a hostel is an altogether different place where one has to exert himself for his very survival. In the hostel, nobody is going to provide you with food on the bed, wash your dirty laundry, or take care of yourself while you’re sick.
However, once you step into this zone, you learn self-dependency & self-sufficiency. You learn patience & tolerance. Similarly, you learn confidence.
When you step out of your comfort zone, you face multiple challenges; a different set of challenges that you had never ever faced in life previously.
This is the phase when you learn to tackle those challenges and grow.
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Roy T. Bennett
Well, we will discuss all the possible challenges one could face in hostel life. Moreover, we will also discuss how to deal with them. For now, we would stick to the main topic.
Hostel Life offers you a chance to explore your capabilities
Another prominent benefit of living in a hostel is; you embark on a journey of self-exploration.
A person who never leaves home always has a fear of the unknown. That fear of the unknown is the qualm that he can’t be able to survive alone. Moreover, he would always be limited in his thoughts, in his personality. Similarly, he would always be dependent on others for his basic physical and emotional needs.
But once you leave home and start living in a hostel, you would start exploring your real self.
First and foremost, you will learn all the apprehensions of the past were unreal. The inner demons that were making you fearful will eventually die.
You will learn to adapt to a new life. Similarly, you will learn to accept change.
Your survival instinct will teach you many lessons. You will go to any length to fulfil your basic requirements and needs. With all this, your belief in your inbuilt capabilities will strengthen.
More Experience, More Learning & Intellectual Growth
Human beings are social animals. They learn from society. A diverse, multicultural, and multiethnic society offers more learning than a homogeneous society. We either learn from our experiences or learn from the experiences of other people.
Primarily, we start our life in a uniform setting. Initially, our interactions remain limited to home or family members. Then, we grow and join the school. But in school also, we witness uniformity. It is because the students and teachers in school all hail from the same society as ours.
On the contrary, when someone leaves home and his town to live in a hostel in some other city or country, he gets a chance to meet people from diverse backgrounds.
In short, a hostel is a place where multiple people with diverse backgrounds live together.
So, a hostelite gets a chance to learn from the experience of his fellow hostelites.
Thus, that person gets to learn about different cultures and lifestyles of different people. This, in return, develops harmony among different cultures.
Similarly, a hostelite opens up to the world. He learns about the temperament of people residing side by side. Along with this, he also learns to adjust among people different in origin from him.
Hostel offers more Personal Freedom
While one faces many limitations at home, a hostel life offers more freedom of choice, expression, and action.
Often at home, one always has to seek permission from parents before taking any action. However, a hostel makes us sufficiently independent. One is at his whims to spend time the way one wants.
In these terms, hostel life is more enjoyable. One celebrates many parties and picnics with friends; not being answerable to anyone where he is/was or will be.
However, this doesn’t mean to transcend the moral and ethical boundaries during the time in hostel. Maturity demands sensible decisions and productive use of time and resources.
Hostel Life teaches Tolerance and Compromise
Another major advantage of hostel life is one learns tolerance. In a diverse social setting where there are diverse ideas, views, and beliefs, one learns to tolerate such differences.
Moreover, there are many aspects of hostel life that one may find conflicting to one’s taste. This might be either in the form of a roommate with whom we find difficult to adjust, or the menu and quality of the mess that one can find repulsive. In such a situation, we have no other option but to compromise.
Thus, living in a hostel teaches us both to compromise and adjust to unfavorable circumstances.
Hostel Life teaches Discipline
Discipline is the fundamental principle of nature. It’s a natural principle that leads to success.
Eating, sleeping, and doing everything in time is what we call discipline. And it is the hostel life that teaches us discipline. Let’s discuss how.
The inflexible timing of mess and laundry inadvertently makes every other thing fall in the discipline. Getting up early for breakfast makes our entire day productive. In winters, one has to get up early perforce if he has to take bath; because one can only find hot water in the morning.
Similarly, one has to be in time for lunch and dinner. This routine ultimately has quite a positive impact on health too.
Apart from the very obvious pros of hostel life, one wonders; are there any disadvantages of living in a hostel?
A simple answer to this is; in some cases, yes!
Let’s discuss the cons of hostel life in some detail.
Disadvantages of Hostel Life
Depending on circumstances, the following can be the disadvantages of hostel life.
Lack of Peace of Mind
The first and foremost disadvantage of hostel life might be the psychological one. Failing to adjust oneself in the new environment can seriously cause mental stress or deprivation of peace of mind.
For example, if you hate smoking and are allergic to the smoke in the room; your roommate who is addicted and stubborn at the same time starts smoking in the room; Ultimately, it will destroy your peace of mind. Quite obviously, you will fail to adapt to this new changing environment.
Similarly, if your roommate doesn’t give a damn about you and listens to music and watches movies with a loud sound, you will definitely suffer.
Productivity follows mental peace. Without peace of mind, your performance in your studies will also be poor.
Indulgence in Bad Activities
A hostel is a place where different kinds of people reside; i.e. from civilized, well-mannered, decent, indecent, selfish, mischievous, etc.
So, the company in the hostel that you would associate yourself with would have a profound impact on you.
A bad company will make you likewise. You might become addicted to smoking. In a similar vein, they might spoil you even further.
It’s 100 percent true that one becomes a person with whom one spends most of one’s time.
So, be very careful while choosing people that you surround yourself with in hostel life because;
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
If you want to make your stay at the hostel productive; choose your company wisely.
Fallouts of Uncomfortable Atmosphere
At times, the uncomfortable atmosphere in the hostel makes us homesick. Homesickness is a mild depression. One who suffers from it fails to concentrate on studies and work while staying in the hostel.
Moreover, the conflicting nature and temperament of roommates and hostel fellows add insult to injury.
In short, all this adversely impacts the objective behind our stay in the hostel.
Unhealthy Food & Health Problems
In often cases, the quality of the meal in the mess is substandard. It leads to certain health issues of the new hostelites i.e. digestion problems, etc.
Health issues also negatively impact our productivity in studies and work.
Given the abovementioned discussion, we can safely say that hostel life is more advantageous in nature than its probable cons. One must spend some part of his early life at a hostel.
A hostel life altogether changes one’s approach to life, brings maturity, and nurtures many positive attributes in a person.
Although there can be some disadvantages of staying in a hostel too (as mentioned above); one can tackle them by changing the hostel to avoid them if necessary.
In short, step out of your comfort zone (home) and enjoy the hostel life that brings multiple unintended gifts.
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