A scholar had to leave his home and go to some center of learning in search of knowledge. Thus a hostel was built to provide accommodation. In this way hostels are built adjacent to academic institutions. Usually students from rural areas and small town have to stay in hostels, because professional and technical colleges, universities and other educational institutions of high repute are invariably situated in big cities. Life in a hostel is a joy and a lesson, a blessing and a responsibility.
Boarders coming from different areas, live there like one family. An atmosphere of equality prevails in the hostel. There is no feeling of social status. The rich as well as the poor enjoy the same facilities of life. They live in the similar rooms and eat the food cooked in the same kitchen. Usually friendships establish during one’s stay in the hostel prove to be life long friendships.
Hostel life teaches us self-discipline and self-reliance. There are hostel rules and regulations which every boarder has to observe. Meal is served at fix time. There are study hours and there is time to play. One cannot go out after a certain hour at night and cannot have lights in the room after a fixed hour. The hostel warden and the perfect are there to enforce the rules.
Sometimes students like to have fun and sprit of adventure lures them to cheat the hostel warden and bribe the gate-keeper. Thus stay in the hostel regulates the life of a boarder.
Hostel life is full of enjoyment. A number of Urdu and English newspaper and magazines are available for reading in common-room. A colour television is also placed there for the students to watch. Those who are interested in indoor activities can play chess, ping-pong or Billiards etc.
There is arrangement for supervised study in some hostiles. Junior students sit in a large classroom and study while a staff member remains present there. The study hours mostly begin at seven in winter and at nine in summer. All the students are in their rooms by that time. There a small mosque in every hostel where students can offer prayers five times a day. During the month of Ramazan nearly all the boarders keep fast because meals are not served during the day by the hostel management.
The most useful aspect of hostel life is that it trains the students how to manage their own affairs. They have to polish their shoes, iron their clothes and keep their room neat and clean. They have to go to bed and rise at fixed hours. Thus they become punctual and self-reliant. They learn good manners, civilized living and cooperation.
But there are some gloomy aspects of hostel life. In the absence of the influence of home life, students get spoiled in the fans and fashions lovers. Parents can only send money at the most and can advise them to mind their studies. They cannot save the boarders from evil influence of bad boys. Thus they waste precious years of their life and ruin their carrier. They return home without achieving anything.
To sum up the whole discussion we can say that hostel life is very useful and helpful in carrier and character building. It cultivates good habits and broadens the vision. But it has its danger as well. In to get the real benefit from it, strict supervision should be kept by hostel authorities and the students should try to avoid the company of bad boys.
Written By: Syed Faiz Mujtaba