Maybe you were brought up with everything you ever wanted or maybe you had to run around and work hard for the bare minimum to live, maybe your parents are the strictest people you know or maybe they are the most chill and easy going ones ever, whatever the case may be, the day you find yourself at the door of your first hostel room will be the most different experience.
As I stood there saying bye to my little sister and my parents with my luggage piled at my side, I felt excited. I'd never been one to be homesick. I was actually looking forward to months and maybe years of independence. I had plans and dreams that I could finally execute. There was one thing I was worried about though. I looked at the empty bed on the other side of mine. The roommate. Any random girl from my year could be sleeping there from tomorrow or whenever she decides to come. I quickly unpacked the minimum I needed for the night.
Morning came and I was introduced to a friendly, rather meek girl. Not the kind of person I'd befriend normally. But she was friendly and seemed very caring. We talked for a while. About our families, school life and our interests. We went to the hostel mess for food together and soon after concluded that we had pretty much nothing in common. I didn't talk much generally. She didn't either. That was about it.
So the first few days found us on our beds after class, minding our own business. Soon enough we made friends in class and outside and spent time in their rooms. Soon enough we wandered back to our own beds. That's the thing with hostels. No matter where you've been wandering around all day, in the end you'll feel happy and satisfied sitting on your bed, reading a book or scrolling through your feed.
You'll find people soon enough. People you'll want to travel the world with and make big plans with. You'll spend your holidays or even bunk class days to travel to those places you've dreamed about. Everything will be on a shoe-string budget which makes it all the more amazing and satisfactory.
You'll learn. Learn to pack bread and jam on a trip because you'll be broke after the first day. Learn to travel cheap. A general ticket on a train will end up being more entertaining than an AC sleeper ticket if you've got 4 friends to huddle together and talk to. You'll soon realize who the impulsive one is in the group. The responsible one, the caring one, the one who always has money and so on.
Once you've found your tribe, hostel life becomes the easiest, happiest experience ever. Anything and everything will be better. Be it midnight birthday parties or staying up all night comforting a friend after her breakup. Everything will be easier once you've found your people.
You'll get into trouble too. You might find yourselves in front of the warden for jumping the wall because you wanted to go out past curfew or for painting the room walls in a frenzy listening to loud music.
But just remember that everything is worth it. The memories made are the best and you'll never regret any of it. If you are lucky you'll keep that bunch of friends forever. And when you stand at that door again with your luggage piled up beside you, taking one last look at the empty bed, you'll be happy, for you've lived upto the expectations of the girl who got there years ago with dreams and excitement in her heart.