I'll never forget the day I arrived at Ahmedabad University. As a fresh-faced newcomer, I was filled with excitement and nervousness. The thought of leaving my parents and living alone in a hostel terrified me. While I knew I would have newfound freedom, the unknowns of hostel life left me with wide-ranging questions. Would I get along with my fellow residents? What about meals and laundry?
Then came the moment when my parents bid me farewell and returned to Nagpur. That night, sleep eluded me. Overwhelmed with emotions, I found myself seeking comfort in the company of the warden. To my surprise, she was incredibly supportive. Throughout the night, she stayed by my side, consoling me, even sharing her snacks! We watched a movie together and finally drifted to sleep around 5 in the morning.
During that initial week, I felt like a fish out of water. However, the warden never made me feel like a burden or an inconvenience. She always welcomed me warmly and provided the support I needed. The hostel was conveniently located within walking distance of the university, and while we also had a cab service, I developed a fondness for the evening walk. It became a cherished time to reflect on my day and find inner peace. Thanks to that experience, I now love walking and make an effort to walk to the university whenever possible.
When I look at myself today, I can't help but marvel at the transformation. What was once a foreign place to me has now become my home. Initially, weekends were challenging as I didn't have many distractions. My mind would often wander to thoughts of my family and home. But now, I eagerly anticipate weekends because that's when my hostel friends and I gather on the terrace, our favourite spot. It boasts a comfortable sitting area where we can relax, unwind, and share stories about our week. Moreover, weekends bring a special treat: delectable food. I always look forward to indulging in chocolate mousse and pasta.
The hostel now feels like a second home to me. It has nurtured my independence and taught me the significance of personal space. I've learned how to organise and decorate my room, discovering that a small corner can truly become your sanctuary. Today, I understand why my father always said that hostel life reveals the essence of adulthood, and indeed, it has done so for me.