Four lessons hostel living will teach you about uni life

February 24, 2017
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Ah hostels, the cheap-as-chips accommodation that seems to be as synonymous to the twenty-something experience as pulling all-nighters is to student life. But did you know the life lessons you learned from sleeping in creaking bunk beds and sharing literally everything with a group of strangers are actually pretty relevant to conquering uni life? That’s why we’ve put together this handy dandy list of four lessons hostel living will teach you about showing dat #studentlyf who’s boss.

Making friends is just as easy in a lecture hall as it is in a dorm room

Generally, hostel guests will have a communal mindset. Think about it: you share your room, you share the bathroom and you even sometimes end up sharing food if you’re a generous soul. So it makes sense that making friends in a hostel dorm is pretty dang easy, all you really have to do is get talking.

The same rule applies to the lecture hall, as just like hostel-dwellers, uni students are pretty open minded about this whole sharing and camaraderie through shared experiences. The next time you’re seated in a lecture without your usual gang, try striking up a conversation with the person next to you or have a good whinge about that upcoming assignment everyone in the class is dreading. You’d be surprised how quickly dismal conditions can forge a shiny new friendship.

Alcohol culture is alive and well, but the degree to which you participate is up to you

Let’s face it, uni just wouldn’t be uni without a thriving alcohol culture. Much like the humble hostel-stayer, the student’s social calendar is rife with pub crawls, trivia nights and networking evenings that’ll take more than a glass of wine to get through.

But not everyone wants to party on through the night and just like it’s OK to turn in early for the evening on your epic adventure, you don’t always have to drink to make the most of a uni-related event. Remember the most important things are the people you’re hanging out with and how much fun you’re having, not how much you drink. Save that for when exam results come out.

There’s always going to be someone who will annoy you

When you’re staying in a hostel you have to accept that there’s a certain degree of control you won’t have and that if something or someone annoys you, there’s not a lot you can do about it. I’m looking at you roommate who left the blinding overhead light on at 1am to go to the bathroom.

The same thing can happen in tutorials when a group member or even just another person in your class will annoy the crap out of you. Take a cue from your hostel-self and channel your inner Zen. Just remind yourself that everything is temporary and you’ll only have to deal with that frustrating person for a limited amount of time.

Unlike in a hostel, the bathroom is probably not the best place to make a potential new friend

We have all had that moment standing in line for the shower or toilet at the hostel, idly chatting away to the person waiting next to you when, before you know it, you’ve just made a new best friend. Please don’t do this at uni – unless you want to become known as the creepy bathroom lurker who won’t shut up while standing in line, in which case go right ahead. Instead, pop in your headphones like everyone else and save up that talkative energy for the next tutorial. Your on-campus reputation (such as it is) will thank you later.

Shannon Coward

Shannon Coward is a fourth year Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Queensland. She enjoys period dramas, doughnuts and a good nap.

Image: E4 Gap Year

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