I am one of those few people in LUMS that have had the opportunity of being both a day scholar and a hosteller, so I have had, as they say, ‘the best of both worlds’. But the experience of living in a hostel trumps that of going for university from home several times over. Basically because my house is light years from LUMS (well maybe a slight exaggeration there), and the daily monotone of travelling in an air-conditioned car with an unusually quiet driver for a good two hours daily was a bit too much for me(first-world problems). But having borne a bit of hassle as a day-scholar, and having seen the hostel-side of the experience, I think I can comment on some of the things that were annoying as a day-scholar
Need I say much? 8 AM’s have been despicable since eternity, and some of us under the happy misconception (such as myself) that 8 AM classes would be a woe of the past once we join university. Alas. Waking up with the same misery, dressing up with the same clumsiness, and travelling to university with the same stress of being late only to find the hostel people strolling unabashedly to the seats in their PJ’s. It’s not exactly the best way to start the day.
The detested 3 hour-long breaks between the classes
In the first few months of the freshman semester, boy, Bluff, Poker, ‘Dakaiti’ and all other variant names of the same card games were really exciting to kill time. For book-lovers like myself, library was a safe haven where I’d merely sit in the book shelves, cuddle up with some books and stare at those decked in the bookshelves for hours on end. But on some days, you just need a bed and a sack to hit. The hostellers, meanwhile, baar baar neend poori karnay chalay jatay thay like it was their favorite pastime. It was a luxury we would always envy.
I ditched society-work in my freshman year, but I remember that I was asked in every interview that I gave whether or not I was a hostelite. And for good reason. The event heads tend to have a knack of rubbing freshies with most menial of society work, no matter how late into the night. A friend of mine was assigned the ‘exciting’ job of pressing and playing the tape-recorder for the preparation of an event into the wee hours. Doing so is near impossible for day-scholars, especially if your parents interrogate you with ‘kya bohat zyada zaruri kaam hai?’
Although the lucky fellas living nearby did manage to get a good flavor of the night-life at LUMS, many like myself were woefully unaware of all that happened after nightfall before I joined the hostel. And rest assured, I am only talking about the movie and match screenings, boxing blackouts and concerts that are held at night. Or am I?
The entire university experience
It goes without saying that the university experience is incomplete without staying on-campus. And as long as you are a day-scholar, the fact that you are missing on countless opportunities to learn from others and be a better version of yourselves, gnaws you every single day, every single moment. It’s as if you have to pause your life every day and wait for it to resume the next day, whilst the hostellers have the opportunity, resources, and the time to make it all happen. And that was, in all seriousness, the most disconcerting aspect of being a day-scholar.