When you leave for university, you spread your wings for the first time. For many, this is a daunting and sometimes traumatic experience. Before you can even properly adjust, you are plucked from the comfort of your home and put in a hostel.
All of a sudden, you are sharing a space with people you don’t know and the chances are that you are going to clash. The problem is that it is not your brother or sister with whom you are having a tiff.
Here are some of the common problems that students have to overcome when they stay in a hostel.
The fear of the unknown
For some people, staying in a hostel is an adventure, but for most people, it is a scary experience. The fear of the unknown forces them to retract and distance themselves from the people around them, just because they don’t know them.
Sometimes when a student is reeling under the pressure of work assignments, they need some good help. Without thinking about what your peers are working on, set your fears aside and use plagiarism detection tool. Don’t get intimidated merely by looking at the work level of your hostel colleagues and build your own space.
Apart from not knowing the people who you are stuck with, you don’t know what campus life is all about. During the first couple of weeks, you are still trying to figure out your timetable and trying to find your classes and other student problems.
One of the biggest fears that get to new students is the fear of failing. Many students are aware of the party culture that exists on campus, but they end up pulling away from any social gathering for fear of failing.
Balance is key. You have to ease into campus life and know that you are going to fail at some point. Accept it and learn from all your experiences, even the challenges to do with friends.
Just about every student will experience homesickness at some point during their stay at the hostel. When they left home, they felt as if they were being freed from prison, but they soon realize that the prison was actually a safe haven where they could live freely.
Many students can’t wait for the first time they go home because they miss mom’s food, or the myriad of other small traditions that they took for granted. Their dorm room ideas pale in comparison to their room at home.
For many students, the harsh reality of starting their own traditions and way of life is not an easy one. They grew accustomed to how their parents did things and without realizing it, that became their normal. Creating a new normal is never easy, but it gets easier as you go along and you also create a stylish dorm room.
The cost of everything
Going to university is not cheap. Adding hostel costs to tuition fees just adds to the financial burden. Whether you live in Australia, the USA or London, studying is going to cost you a great deal of money and the sooner you start paying off your study loans, the better.
The best thing to do is to get a part-time job and start chipping away at your debt. You’ll soon learn how to budget and start to spend your money on the fun stuff as well.
This is probably one of the most difficult things to get down when you start studying. Staying in a hostel does not make things any easier. After the first couple of months or weeks, you would have probably made new friends and the balance between social events and studies is all of a sudden difficult to find.
Most nights, you are torn between a good party and the burning obligation to finish that assignment or to study for a test. There is no easy way to find the balance and you will have to figure out how much time you need for your studies. There will always be more social events, but when you have to redo modules, the costs start to mount.
Although hostel living might be difficult at first, it truly is one of the best adventures that you will go on. There are so many lessons that you will learn and the window for you to have that life is one that only stays open for a limited time.
The challenges that you face in hostel pales in comparison to the life experience that you gain. Here is where you will make lifelong friends, and in all likelihood, meet your soulmate. All you need to do is to take it one day at a time and try and get as much out of it as possible.
Emma Rundle is a student mentor and an academic counselor helping them to take best career decisions and excel in whatever area they venture into. Currently, she is pursuing is a doctorate in cultural studies and plans to go for post-doctorate after that. In her free time, she learns sculpting stone, reads non-fiction and tries different vegan recipes.