- Hostel life is delightful.
- It is independent.
- It is less disciplined than in a school hostel.
- The danger of hostel life.
- A good warden necessary.
- A hostel trains us for later life.
- More facilities for studies.
- Social activites in a hostel.
- Hostel should not be expensive.
Life in a college hostel is very interesting. The boarders are gay and happy. The atmosphere is cheerful. You feel it as you enter a hostel in the morning or in the evening. The inmates of a hostel go about their work in a smart manner.
Most colleges have hostel attached to them. In some colleges and universities it is obligatory for all students to live in the hostel. Such institutions are called residential institutions. A new-comer to a hostel finds a great difference between life at home and life in the hostel. At first he may find it difficult to adjust himself to the new atmosphere. At home he was looked after by his parents. He didn’t have to bother about many things. If he fell ill he had brothers to take care of him. His food and clothes were the worry of his parents. His room was cleaned by some one else. His books were arranged by the elder sister or mother.
But when he comes to the hostel he has to take care of himself. He has to lead an independent life. And he finds it difficult in the beginning. He feels homesick and lonely. This is natural. After a few days, however, he begins to feel at home. He learns to be responsible. He begins to take pleasure in arranging his books. He tries to keep his room tidy. He makes new friends. He faces his little problems and learns to solve them. He feels that he is a grown-up. In this way he gets useful training for later life. After a boy has adjusted himself to the new conditions in the hostel be begins to like this new experience.
Life in a college hostel is slightly different from that in a school hostel. In the later he has to submit himself to a stricter discipline. He longs to go back home more often. A college hostel, on the countrary, offers much greater freedom. It is a more interesting place. The inmates are comparatively more grown-up. The warden is more polite and considerate. The discipline less is rigid. The opportunities for self-development are also greater.
And yet parents have all sorts of objections to hostel life. They consider that the boys get spoilt; They pick up bad and costly habits; they do not study regularly, hey fall into bad company. Most of these objections are correct. They are based on second fears. Unless a boy. is careful he is likely to neglect his studies. He may waste not only his time but his money also. He may spoil himself in many ways. All these dangers are there. In a hostel there are all kinds of boys. Some. are poor, others are rich. Some are fond of studies, others take no interest in their books. Some are mean, others are generous. Some are intelligent, others are dull. In such a mixed company every individual student runs the risk of getting under bad influences.
But these dangers can be reduced considerably. First of all the warden can be of great help in improving the tone of the hostel. He should be a man of great tact and sympathy. His own habits should be good. He should be able to act as an understanding father to all the inmates of the hostel. He should have a good knowledge of human psychology. He should take personal interest in the lives of the residents. He should evolve a set of rules after careful thinking. Then he should enforce these rules rather strictly. He should listen to the complaints of the residents and remove them when they are reasonable. He should divert the surplus energies of the students into healthy corporate activities.
With such a warden in charge of hostel affairs, the dangers. mentioned above. can be reduced to the minimum. The residents will observe calmness when it is time for studying. They will respect him. The feart will act as a check on their mischievous tendencies. The. respect will prompt them to behave properly.
Having looked at the dangers now we come to the positive advantages of living in a college hostel. It has been hinted above that hostel life is indirectly a training for later life. One learn to choose one’s friends wisely. One realises the dangers of a careless attitude: sooner or later. The sense of responsibility is cultivated. One know how to face difficulties. A hostel is both a town and a family. It is a town on a small scale and a family on large scale. One learns the duties of a good citizen. One also picks up the qualities of a good family man.
More important than all these advantages is that one has more facilities for study. This may not sound right at first. Home is home where one doesn’t have to do anything. One’s parents are always goading one to study. Many more reasons can be given. But we should not forget that very often the home atmosphere is not conducive to studies. Accommodation is limited. If the family is large and means limited the children have to squeeze themselves into the same room. There is a noise. Tempers are often lost. The parents have their own problems. The growing children cannot help concerning themselves with these problems. They cannot concentrate on studies if there is any illness in the family. If there are guests, the studies suffer. The temptation to gossip or to listen to the gossip of the elders is always there.
True that some of these features are there in a hostel also. But a room of one’s own is a great thing. Even a dormitory is better, provided its inmates are mutually congenial and earnest about studies. Then the quiet atmosphere is a great help. There is often a healthy competition among boys. Difficulties in various subjects can beremoved with mutual help. Exchange of books is easier and more frequent. One has more time to study. One doesn’t have to run to the bazaar to buy this or that One’s mind is free.
It has been suggested above that the warden should see that there are several activities to absorb the surplus energy of the students. Without such activities life in a hostel may become dull. Usually there is a common room for indoor games. A reading room is. also essential. Very ofter, there is no library in a hostel. But a small library containing a few choice books will help in improving the general tone of the hostel. On festival days the inmates gather and have joint celebrations. For different wings of the hostel there are student proctors. They assist the warden in maintaining discipline and enforcing rules. Sometimes these proctors misuse their powers. But in such cases the warden has to exercise his powers. The mess is generally supervised by stüdent managers. Sometimes these managers are not honest. They get better food than others and the general standard goes down. The rest of the residents should not allow such evil practices. They should bring all irregularities to the notice of the warden.
One feature of life in a college hostel needs special emphasis. It is actually a serious danger. There is common feeling that only rich people can afford to keep their children at the hostel. But life in a college hostel should not be expensive. Simple food, reasonable rent: and simple dress can keep the expenses down. The mess should Wherever possible be run on none profit co-operative basis. The authorities should see that the expenses of the hostel do not go beyond a certain maximum. The residents should spend according to their means. Sometimes there is a tendency among some students to copy the richer students. They spend their monthly allowance too fast. They begin to borrow. The loans get accumulated. This means worry and distraction from studies. In order to avoid this the hostel authorities should keep a watch over the expenses of the residents.
In conclusion it may be said that life in a college hostel has its advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages are many but they are more than balanced by the advantages. Also with proper management the disadvantages can be avoided. In any case a stay at a college hostel is an experience worth having.