As a Fresher or Jambite, if you have never being exposed to hostel life, you may find it really hard to adapt. Even if you do adapt, you might make too many mistakes which you will end up regretting.
But don’t worry, I have you covered. In this article, I will be giving you tips and tricks to successfully live in any Nigerian University hostel.
I have answered some of the questions you might have in mind as regards to hostel accommodation in Federal universities.
How many people are usually in a room in a Nigerian Federal university?
Some Nigerian hostels are designed to suit eight students comfortably. It could be designed to fit six, even two depending on the university you choose.
How do you get hostel accommodation in federal Universities?
Not everyone gets hostel accommodation in most federal Universities. Some times, it could be balloted, it might be on a first come first serve or it might require strong connections to get school accommodation.
Is there a difference between boarding schools and university hostels?
Yes, there are several differences. Most of it stems out from the freedom you get in university.
In the University, you are left to make most of your decisions by yourself. You cook your own food, you sleep at whatever time you like, you read at your own convenience and you do your chores yourself.
Hostel life can be very interesting but as interesting as it sounds, you can easily make mistakes and reckless decisions that can put you in trouble both academically and even socially.
Note that this article is birthed out of my own experiences with living with strangers in the same room. The following tips are some of the lessons I have learnt and I’m sure they will help you live successfully and maximize your opportunities.
Tips to help you live successfully in a Nigerian uni hostel.
1) Take your time to study the people around you:
Not everyone is like you. We all have different backgrounds and different life experiences that ultimately affect the way we think and reason. Your roommates will not be perfect but you are stuck with them. They would have flaws and you should be able to relate with them regardless of those flaws.
Taking time to study your roommates doesn’t mean that you should not talk to them when you first arrive. It only means that you should pay attention to the little things they do. Like how they talk, what they talk about, how organized they are and the differences between you and them.
Know their likes and dislikes so you don’t have end up picking a fight or having to run away from your room.
2) Have everything you need:
You don’t want to give the impression that you always borrow things or you beg for every little thing. People may be nice to you in the first two-three weeks over time, they will get tired if you keep asking them for things.
You need to come with your own provisions, toiletries and every single thing you might need. University packing list for Nigerian students.
Even if you forget a few things, find money and time to get them back.
You would be more comfortable and respected using your own things because you can use it however you like.
3) Be tolerant:
Like I said there are different kinds of people in the hostel. You must learn to live successfully with all of them even if they don’t have the best personalities. Learn to tolerate having them in the same space.
You don’t have to be friends with someone you don’t like but at the same time, you shouldn’t hate them or become enemies with them.
Learn to understand where they are coming from. You must also know when to avoid them.
4) Be nice but don’t be stupid:
It’s okay to render help to people when they need it but make sure that this help doesn’t end up becoming a burden. If you are the gentle type or the funny type, people tend to take you for granted. When that happens, voice out and address the situation if not it will continue.
Some students take pleasure in borrowing clothes, money and other things without returning. Don’t feel shy to collect your money or your items. You can be nice in lending out but you must demand for whatever belongs to you as politely as possible.
Also, you might be a very tidy person while your roommates are not. Make sure that you don’t end up doing all the cleaning for them.
If you don’t speak up and voice out, you will be taken for granted.
5) Don’t gossip:
You might end up being close friends with some of your roommates while you might not like some others. Try your best to not talk about those you don’t like behind their backs.
It doesn’t even make sense to discuss people’s mistakes, misfortunes or relationship life. Focus on yourself and your studies. If by any chance a roommate offends you, walk up to the roommate and tell the person exactly how you feel.
All in all, mind your business.
6) Think before you cook with your roommates:
Speaking from experience, it’s not always a good idea. Yes there are advantages but the disadvantages can be even more. Make sure you have studied your roommates cooking habits and also spending habits.
Don’t rush into it just because you are friends. Know your roommates income and how much you can both spare for cooking. The relationship must be mutual, both of you must benefit. So if she’s bringing beans, you might be bringing pepper and palm oil.
If you end up cooking with your roommates and you feel cheated or you don’t like something they are doing, address it. Don’t keep malice or ignore it.
7) Don’t get distracted :
While you gist in the hostel, time passes by. You might end up talking so much that you totally forget to read. Remember to study as much as you relate with others. Cooking might even be your distraction or your phone.
Control your distractions so that they don’t control you or make you fail.
8) Don’t give out too much information about your personal life:
There will be that excitement that you get from meeting new people and you would want to form a relationship with them but you have to be careful. You can’t just tell them every single thing about you.
Keep important information to yourself like details about your relationship life and the status of your family. If you’re a female then this is even more important.
When you disclose too much about your relationship life, people would interfere and they will end up messing up your love life.
If you have business ideas or personal goals you need to achieve, keep them to yourself. When you are an open book to them, they can easily take advantage of you. Only give necessary information out.
9) Never borrow money without returning it:
No matter what you do, return whatever you borrow from people. Don’t think they will understand why you can’t return it or that they have enough and won’t notice.
They are only being nice to you and the least you can do is to make sure that they don’t regret it. Return whatever you borrow before the owner asks for it.
Don’t wait for them to start screaming your name or telling people that you borrowed whatever from them.
10) Don’t keep malice:
When you are offended by your roommates, talk about it. Don’t keep it in. Talk to whoever offended you and reach an agreement on the issue. Keeping malice limits how much your mind can do because you keep thinking about whoever you are keeping malice with.
Talking about your issues actually gives you more peace of mind.
11) Be humble:
No matter how rich your parents are or how brilliant you are, if you don’t want to make enemies disguised as friends be humble.
Try to not rub your success on your roommates’ faces. If your parents are richer than other people’s parents, don’t forget that it is your parents’ money and not yours. Bring yourself down to other people’s level and don’t let them see you as proud.
Even if you are the most intelligent, don’t make it so obvious that others begin to feel threatened. You could even be the most beautiful or most handsome in the room, just try your best to blend in and not create enemies.
If you flex whatever power you have, you will make people jealous and jealousy can easily lead to envy, envy can lead to hate and hate can lead to death.
Be humble, regardless of who you are, what you have or what you know.
12) Don’t think with your emotions:
You will face challenges and you would feel like getting angry or fighting, just remember why you are in school. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
Make sure that you don’t make decisions because you are happy, angry or sad. Only make decisions after thinking of the repercussions.
When you stay in the hostel, you will be faced with a lot of decisions to make and you must think things through before finalizing or deciding.
13) Don’t fall for peer pressure:
Whatever you want to do, do it only because it will make you happy and not because you want to impress your roommates.
If you find yourself getting pressured to do stuff that you are not comfortable with or might hurt you in the long run, remember that it is your life. Whatever you make of it is yours alone to bare.
If by any chance, you get in trouble, your friends or roommates might ignore,deny or even laugh at you.
14) Be prepared for the worst:
Not all federal Universities in Nigeria are well equipped. So prepare to see bad toilets and broken windows.
Some hostels even have bedbugs but you will be fine. Just be prepared.
My final thoughts
I hope that you found this tips useful and you don’t forget because you will need them in the university. The university will teach you to be strong and independent.
There are so many other lessons you will learn by yourself. I wish you the best.