Sahil got a call from his school friend Manish.
Manish: Wow Sahil, you are finally in IITB! I envy you.
Life must be awesome there!
Sahil: Umm...well, it is very different from what I had thought. At times it feels like I am in another world.
Manish: Why? Are the studies so hard?
Sahil: Manish, studies are only one side of the story. The hostel life here is overwhelming! I am juggling between classes, Fresher orientations at night, and there are so many activities to tempt me that I am confused what to choose. Also the night life here is something else! I am either out with my friends at 2 am or on the internet.
Manish: So what’s your problem?
Sahil: What to say....my routine has gone for a toss! I eat and sleep at odd hours. Studies seem to be taking a backseat. At times I feel I am walking a tightrope.
Coming to IIT is a milestone for any student. You are looking forward to a new life, which includes academics, extra-curricular activities, friends from all over the country and other things you have not experienced before. All this gives a great feeling of independence. But living in a hostel can be a turning-point of your life. The IIT hostel life is diverse and vibrant but can take getting a lot of getting used to.
Working around the clock for projects, going to lab at night, adjusting with roomies and wingies, getting used to mess food, ‘night-outs’, and having 24 X 7 internet might be unique to your experience in this campus, even if you had stayed outside home earlier.
A lot is happening on campus, much of which seems irresistible. You have been used to studying several hours a day before coming to IIT and this newfound freedom can be very tempting. There are activities, friends, interests and events calling out to you. Definitely you can’t only restrict yourself to academics, but do observe and make balanced choices before going forward.
Staying with your roomie could be the first step towards learning adjustment skills. This need not mean you and he/she have to be besties. Both of you can learn to navigate the same space by setting basic boundaries e.g. seeing each other’s sleep and convenience while putting lights/ sounds on and off, inviting friends into the room, asking before using the other’s personal stuff etc.
Your wing-mate will play a major role and form a significant part of your support system at IITB. Spend adequate time with them but ensure your personal time and space are also respected.
Hostel life gives you a new kind of freedom. For some, it is like a dream come true while others may feel it is a nightmare to manage everything on their own. It’s easy to fall into a disorganized schedule where you don’t know where your time is going. Realise that you will be responsible for your decisions by yourself and face the consequences. So be mindful of why you are here. Enjoy this period of self-discipline, which will lead to self-reliance and a sense of achievement.
It is possible that people around you engage in activities that you’re not comfortable with. You may also feel pressured to participate in these. At such times, being clear about your stand and sticking to it becomes important. You don’t have to do anything that you’re not okay with.More