Updated: Aug 6, 2020
Recently, I have realized that I was immensely privileged. I was the kind of spoilt kid who got what she wanted and lived off her parent’s money. So right when I decided I wanted to become independent and not go to a college back home, my mom made me aware about the struggles. She trained me to wash my dishes, make rice and dal (which I took very casually). But, in reality, the intensity of the struggle is way more. The following are some of the struggles I have faced since I have come here:
Why are basic things so expensive?
I have gone from a person who used to have Starbucks every day to one who has Nescafé. By the end of the month, it pinches me to even buy a chocolate. Suddenly, 500 bucks sounds so expensive. It’s crazy how much food I can get with that! You absolutely miss just going to mom and asking her money for a chocolate.
You will miss the nagging.
It all sounds extremely attractive in books and movies. A young girl gains her freedom, parties hard, finds the love of her life and enjoys her independence. Even when you think about the idea of not having to ask your parents to go out, not having your mom constantly telling you to clean your room, not having to ask them for money. SOUNDS AMAZING! But honestly, I miss it. When you are away from your parents, you realize how they were the only ones who cared about you. Cared enough to wake you up at 7:30 for school, to ask you whether you ate, or if you carried a jacket since it’s cold outside.
No food can beat ‘Ghar ka khana’. I regret every time I took that food for granted and I made a face when my mom made a bottle gourd. Moreover, merely having someone to make you fresh hot food and serve it to you on the table is amazing. It doesn’t stop there, they make sure hunger is fully filled and you are satisfied. In college there are days you just forget to eat, then suddenly at 2 am your stomach rumbles and you end up ordering whatever is available, which isn’t the healthiest mostly.
3. Why don’t hostels have a washing machine?
It’s the 21st century, every house has a washing machine and after a day of staying in a hostel, I realized I will have to do my laundry myself! I had to practically google ‘how to hand-wash your clothes’ to figure it out. I remember suffering from a breakdown one day as I had nothing to wear since everything was in the laundry basket.
4. Life for your family and friends continues.
Okay, it’s not something I didn’t expect, naturally, everyone’s life doesn’t rotate around me. But it still surprises me. I didn’t lose touch with them, I still call my friends every weekend, get updates on their lives but this doesn’t change the fact that they are doing things without me! They have inside jokes that I don’t get any more. Even my parents are going out on trips and enjoying without me. I kind of just came to the realization that they are, nevertheless, going to enjoy life without me.
5. Some of the stereotypes are true.
Absolutely, cup noodles and Maggi are life. Also, sleep is a daunting task, sometimes due to work, sometimes because your roommate wants to watch a movie with the volume amplified to the highest decibel. Moreover, most of the college students are broke. This is a fact. For some, it's because of impulsive shopping while some just spend way too much on food.
Even though I have spent the last hour almost ranting about living alone, I have experienced some of the most splendid moments of my life in these two months. At the end of the day, the satisfaction you get knowing that you handled your stuff all by yourself is amazing! It gives a sense of achievement- that no matter what happens you’ll figure it out.