Hostel life - heaven or hell?
Living alone at a Paying Guest (PG) or hostel for working women, in a new city where you have landed to begin your dream career sounds exciting. Hold on, you are sure going to learn lots in life this way.
Hostels in residential campuses have a warden who supervises the behavior of the inmates.
Scene 1: You enter your room and see two beds and two tables. You meet your room-mate or ‘roomie’. Initially, the two of you are shy and polite but over time, serious adjustment issues turn up and you two start a cold war in the room. Both cannot stand each other but have to stay for the semester/year. You both were friends at first before the real bonding across classes takes place and you make some like-minded friends. Now you both hardly greet each other and live like two strangers in a confining space.
Scene 2: You enter your room and see two beds and two tables. You meet your roomy and she turns out to be the sister you never had. You both share all gossips of the campus, study, shop and party together. Gossip whole night and sleep in class together. This is rare but it is a lucky scenario.
A third category is working hostels or ‘paying guest’ life. This teaches you the important lesson of self-reliance. You are new to the city and job and cannot afford your apartment just yet. So you choose a decent locality at a convenient distance from work. You decide the amount to be shelled out for rent and make a home ( or whatever you may call it) away from home. You want meals included, the PG people promise you home-cooked meals and you are elated. But soon you understand how Oliver Twist felt at the orphanage. You stock on snacks and ready-to eat meals and learn the basics of cooking to support your ever-hungry belly.
Paying guest homes offer you bathrooms with improper plumbing and still you continue to stay. Here, the role of your room-mates or flat-mates becomes paramount in being supportive and responsible friends so that your freedom is not impinged upon when you are at your room. Safety at the PG is another concern for most girls and this is why flat-mates often bond together. Flat-mates are your buddies outside work where you can bitch about your bosses and help one another in times of sickness. You travel the city together and learn to adjust with each other. Paradoxically, you also learn the meaning of loneliness, the kind that unnerves you to break down. Hostel life gives you tips on quick decision-making and boosts your confidence. So if you have not experienced this alternative lifestyle, do it once before you turn thirty.
Lastly, there is one vital lesson you learn on going to a hostel/paying guest. There is no place like home.