The Hostel Life
Hasana Lawaju talks to college students who are living in hostels as they pursue their studies and finds out why students find it advantageous to stay in one
Hostel provides a good environment for studies — serious students take the best advantage while living in hostels. While there are the fun and challenges of living in a hostel, these are also the best places for students to live while pursuing their higher studies. Most students agree that they are motivated to study while saving their time as they attend their colleges while living in hostel.
Conducive study environment
Some students find hostel environment motivational to concentrate in their studies, especially during exams. “Every student staying in a hostel usually has exams at the same time, and thus all are studying during that time,” says Bishwadeep Tamang, a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) IInd Year student at Khwopa College of Engineering, Bhaktapur. Tamang, who hails from Sankhuwasabha, is staying at Hostel Libali — a private hostel in Bhaktapur.
Tamang’s classmate as well as roommate Manish Dhakal echoes a similar view — “when a friend is studying for exams at hostel, a competitive spirit develops among other friends, and as a result everyone is motivated to study”.
The motivation to study comes from seniors at her hostel for Manisha Khadka, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) VIth Semester student. Khadka, who studies at Padmakanya Multiple Campus, Baghbazar and stays in the college’s Pragya Chhatrawas, shares, “When I see my seniors — especially Master’s level students — studying sincerely, I am inspired to study properly.”
Living in a hostel with classmates becomes advantageous, especially when one misses a class or does not understand the topic taught in the classroom. “Whenever I do not understand any topic taught by the teachers, I can consult my roommates or other friends in the hostel who have a better understanding of the topic,” points out Kshitij Dahal, BE (Civil) IInd Year student at Khwopa College of Engineering. Dahal also resides in Hostel Libali.
However, Sharmila Upadhyaya staying at Padma Girls Hostel in Pulchowk, has a different experience. Initially, when she started living in the hostel three-and-a-half years ago, it was difficult for her to adjust because she was not used to studying in group. But with time, she has gotten used to it.
Upadhyaya, BE (Computer Engineering) VIIIth Semester student at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk, shares her hostel offers a good environment for students as it “only selects students after checking their academic performances”.
Life made easier
Khadka’s hostel is next to her college premises. “It takes me only a few minutes to reach my hostel. So, my time is not wasted in travelling,” says Khadka, who hails from Butwal. Living near the college, she claims to utilise most of her time for studies.
Had Dhakal, whose house is in Kapan, chosen to commute to his college in Bhaktapur from his home “I would have spent at least four hours daily just travelling in bus”. Thanks to his decision to stay in a hostel, he is able to save valuable time.
The students also need not cook or do laundry and cleaning as most hostels provide students with food, laundry and other services.
“We do not need to cook, wash dishes or clothes, and it is convenient for us,” Tamang shares.
Along with that other facilities are available in the hostels. For instance, the three-and-a- half storey Pragya Chhatrawas has made one study hall available in each floor for students along with Wi-Fi facility, as per Geeta Tandukar, a third class officer at General Administration Division of the Padmakanya Multiple Campus.
Kutumba Boys Hostel, Jawalakhel receives students’ report cards from their respective colleges. “We wake the students up early in the morning, monitor their studies, talk to the parents if their children are not concentrating in their studies or have poor academic performances,” hostel coordinator Bandana Khatri reveals.
More than studies
Be it a hostel run by the college or a private one, most make students’ academics the priority. But they also provide opportunities for students to have fun. As such, the occasional celebrations in hostels are the best moments for students like Khadka. They celebrate Teachers’ Day where they offer treats to their teachers and also celebrate birthday of their hostel warden, as per Khadka.
Hostel wardens too support the students in such endeavours. Rakesh Machamasi, Warden of Hostel Libali informs, “We prepare delicacies like Dahi Chiura, Khir, Yomari et cetera on different occasions for the hostel students and we all celebrate together. Our students find such celebrations interesting.”
Most students agree that hostels provide them with a good study environment. However, they have some dissatisfaction too, mostly about the food served.
“Sometimes, the food served by our hostel is not hygienic. At times I have found insects and hair in the food, though it does happen always,” complains Khadka.
Dahal has some objection with the meat-policy of his hostel. “Our hostel serves meat every Wednesday. But if I do not feel like eating on that day and want to have meat on some other day, that is not possible,” Dahal argues.
But Upadhyaya puts forth a different opinion. “It is not what we want to eat, but what is available. If we do not eat properly, no one in the hostel will convince us to eat. As such habits like not eating on time can even affect our health. So, rather than complaining, we should learn to take care ourselves,” she opines.