I had perhaps known for quite some time that it was going to happen. In my 11th and 12th, like many others, I was preparing for a number of competitive exams. I had joined up with BASE, a pretty famous coaching institute in Bangalore and was doing quite well in tests given by them. Through the two years, my father would tell me about how bad living can be at hostel, having spent 8 years of his life as a hosteller himself. And as most of the good educational institutes in India are residential, if I had wanted a good institute, the hostel had to come with that. He would tell me of the bad and repetitive food in mess, the feeling of loneliness one gets, and the unclean toilets, and told me that I would indeed be lucky as a lot of facilities such as transport, communication etc.. were not as well developed then.
The board exams began in March, and I went through them without thinking much about this. The exam I had prepared for the most, the IIT JEE was an utter disaster and after the exam, I knew there was no way I could even qualify. Next came the local CET, which I fared pretty well in. The AIEEE exam followed soon after. I made the mistake of filling up my center number wrong on the OMR and spent the first half hour pondering if my paper would actually be corrected rather than solving questions. Here I decided that I would do all I could and wrote the exam and came out. The BITS examination followed soon after. It was perhaps the best of all of my exams so far, and that relieved me a little. Soon the results came out, my AIEEE paper was evaluated after all.. and I decided to take up NITK Surathkal.
On the day of counseling, I found that college would start 2 weeks later. This was much earlier than I anticipated, and yet again, I stated thinking about hostel life. And then began my first day at hostel. Once my room was allotted, I got to meet my roommates. They too were accompanied by their parents, I would say as anxious as mine. We chatted for quite some time, got to know each other, and the clock kept ticking.. It was pretty ate when we decided to got to bed. The next morning, quite surprisingly, I managed to wake up at five in the morning.. usually at home, I would rise up at 10 or 11… We got ready for classes, ate for the first time at the mess(It was okay I thought) and went for classes: half an hour before schedule :D.
The first few lasses were just intros, without any work actually being done. Meanwhile, a lot of my classmates started getting ragged.. Ragging here is a tradition here amongst almost everyone… however the Bangalore people refrain from it.
For the first few days, we got to know people, explored the huge campus amongst other things.. There seemed so much to do. Only one week later, I made my first trip back home. For 4 days, I relished on home food. And then I returned, back to the place I was to spend the next four years.
As time passed, our friend groups got stronger, classes started to get hectic, and we began to settle into our lives. The weekdays were initially very hectic, with a lot of studying to do. We would enjoy on the weekends, going to Mangalore to dine out and watch movies, or wandering on our campus beach or simply sleeping through the day.
Weekends also meant that it was time to start washing clothes. But soon we go used to the routine.
Living at hostel, I have met a lots of different kinds of people. Some people are good, some aren’t so friendly, some are nerds, some like to freak out and some are always pissed off on being alone. The hostel is a melting pot for people from different places and different backgrounds.
A lot of people also make perhaps a wrong use of their new found freedom. A lot of people have taken up drinking and smoking.. this wasn’t something I had seen before: people of my age indulging in all of it. It is I believe a matter of self control to stay away from these things.
My 3 and a half months at hostel so far have been quite an experience in a lot of ways. My mother always comments that I have grown very responsible in matter of three months.. I sometimes begin wondering if I really have.. Hopefully the remainder of 3 and half years here will be just as eventful as the last 3 months.