A Survival Guide to Sail Through the Grueling Hostel Life

Thinking of moving away from home? It’s an overwhelming thought, especially hostel life for students living in our sheltered society. Parent’s are hesitant to let their children fly away from the nest, even if it may be for lucrative prospects. If you’re getting the living away from home blues, or if you don’t know what to expect from shared living space with your peers, we’re giving you the complete guide to hostel life.

Dive into this new phase, equipped with a few tools to navigate unknown territory. But, before we begin, pat yourself on the back! Be proud of yourself for deciding for yourself; whether you’re moving away for university or work, it’s a chance to start afresh.

Set Boundaries Upon Arrival

Right as you step foot into your hostel, be sure to lay down a few ground rules with your roommates. Whether you want silence at night, prefer soft music, or need a clean space, don’t hesitate to voice your concerns. If you feel shy, don’t! Others will do the same; it’s only a matter of time; it’s better to get a word in before things escalate for the worse.

Learn to Be Flexible

While it’s great to set boundaries as you begin living with strangers, don’t forget that compromise is part of life, too. Sometimes you might have to agree to disagree.

Say your roommate has an exam the next day and needs the lights on all night to study; you’ll want to let it slide. It’ll give you leeway to ask them to bend their preferences for you next time, and it’ll help everyone live together in harmony.


Bulk Grocery is a Bad Idea

Speaking from personal experience, it might seem tempting to stock up for the whole month, but it’s never a smart move. Fresh produce should always be bought in small quantities, it might seem strange to buy three bananas or two apples, but they’ll go bad in the blink of an eye, and you won’t eat as much as you think you might! As for other non-perishable goods, go slow, as well. Your roommates will attack your stock, so keep it coming one at a time. Sharing is caring, but it’s not very pleasant when you’re on a budget!

Stock Up on Home Cooked Meals

You’ll feel homesick sooner or later. And homemade food is something you have the green light to hoard! Multi use items like shami kebabs and grilled chicken are great – throw it in a wrap, sandwich, pasta, or devour on their own. You’ll save money and win over the hearts of your roommates as you serve them maa ka khana to fill their bellies.


Baskets are your Savior

There’s limited storage space in hostels, and it’s hard to squeeze your entire life into a tiny room. Storage bins and baskets will come to your rescue when all else fails. You can place them under your bed, inside the cupboard, and make the most of what you have.

Al-Fatah and Carrefour are great supermarkets where you can find affordable plastic bins to keep clothes, food, and other toiletries. You’ll definitely need a basket for your shower supplies since most hostels have communal showers.

Indulge in Healthy Snacking

It’s really easy to fall into the trap of unhealthy eating when you’re living away from home. From constantly ordering junk food to skipping breakfast, your health can take a downward turn if you’re not cautious. What worked for me was buying snack items that I could take with me on the go, even when running late.

Fruit is always a great idea! Or you can get single-serving containers of flavoured yogurt; drink the deliciousness straight from the cup. Granola or protein bars are another great portable option. Nuts, seeds, and dates work well when you feel peckish but don’t want greasy snacks.

Befriend the Staff

Whether you want leniency to push the hostel curfew or get groceries delivered, it’s always a good idea to extend a helping hand towards the hostel staff.

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They work long hours of manual labour, be sure to always say salam each time you enter or leave the premises, and provide them with tips whenever you can. It’ll motivate them to help you when you’re stuck in a pickle or cover for you during your hostel life.

Use Budget-Friendly Apps

Hostel life is a great learning experience to teach you patience, tolerance, and, most importantly, budgeting! When you spend the entire month with a certain amount of money, it’s always good to look for options to save a few bucks. Sastaticket is a great app to find cheap tickets when you need to travel home, whereas the inDriver app is ideal for commuting within the city.

Foodpanda provides a ‘Panda Mart’ option on the app that delivers groceries within minutes for a nominal delivery fee. Save your travel fare and satiate your midnight cravings with affordable food options!

Take a Break When Needed

Living day and night with people around you can get tough, and it’s a struggle to find some personal space. Head over to the nearest library, bookstore, park, or cafe to get work done and clear your head. It’ll provide you with a change of scenery and stimulate your mind to restart.

Taking little breaks off and on will help you function better and live peacefully in a hostel setting. It’s okay if you don’t want to spend every waking second in the hostel; we’ve all been there!

All the best for your future endeavours, and good luck with learning to live with all kinds of people. It’s a necessary life experience, and you’re fortunate to experience and take away valuable lessons from it. Enjoy the time you have; you’re always going to cherish these memories!

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