We hear people talk about the advantages of hostel life. It is said a student in the boarding house is free from family anxieties and worries. His only business to concentrate on his studies. Moreover, he comes in contact with senior students and learns to speak fluently with them and thus shakes off his shyness. His manners undergo a change. He becomes disciplined.
Again the life in the boarding house develops in him qualities of self-help and self-reliance5. He learns to do every thing by himself. He must take his food at fixed hours. He cannot keep late hours. He has to go to bed early and get up next morning very early. This regularity keeps him fit and smart.
Hostel life is not without its disadvantages. The rich students get sufficient money from their parents and therefore spend lavishly. The poor boarders also urge their parents to increase their monthly allowance and spend their hard earned money on luxuries. The company of the rich also makes them pick up their bad habits. They start smoking. Some of them take to intoxicants and thereby ruin themselves.
Another great defect in hostel life is the mismanagement on the part of the warden. The food supplied is simply unworthy of consumption by the students. The result in most cases is that in spite of the congenial atmosphere, they lose in health; they begin to hate the food supplied. In contrast to this is the life at home. The atmosphere at home, the love of parents, the affection bestowed on them by their brothers and sisters, the food they are supplied — all make them grow up into bright young boys and girls.
A casual survey of the life of hostelers reveals the fact that most of the students who get into a merit list are those who have lived at home and not in hostels. The fact is that a boarder has limited time at his disposal for studies because of the rigid control; there are games and limited hours of study. The turning off of light at the time when they would like to study is a stumbling block in their way. When we examine the advantages and disadvantages of life in the hostel, we are convinced the home life is the best for the students.