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Feb 22, 2019

Advantages and Disadvantages of Staying in School Hostels

The halls of residence, popularly known as the school hostels, are an integral part of the academic environment today. Being a lasting section of the infrastructural design of campuses, hostels hold major influences (both positive and negative) for students who occupy them as well as for those who choose to live off campus. The interesting part of the accommodation subject as regards the hostel is that regardless of the choice of occupancy area made by students, these influences abound and no student can successfully dissociate himself or herself from the benefits and the ills of residing in the halls or not. Certain notable merits and demerits of hostel occupancy stand out among others.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Staying in School Hostels
Advantages of Staying in School Hostels

1. Affordability
Hostel accommodation happens to be a lot cheaper than the cost of renting an apartment off campus, ranging from single rooms to self contain apartments which are usually associated with students. Students who stay in hostels save more money in this regard compared to others who live off campus.

2. Nearness to Academic Facilities
 In the event of urgent calls coming through or impromptu lectures, tests or examinations that may be conducted, the hostel occupants always arrive first. They never miss out because they, more or less, reside in the heart of the institution and are only a stone’s throw away from the lecture halls, department and faculty blocks, etc. Whereas those who live off campus would need more time to put themselves together and begin their journey to the campus, the hostelers arrive at the designated point and right on or in time.

3. Urgent Information
Information spreads like wildfire within the hostels. With only a shout from one student, the collective attention of hundreds of students who live in the hostel is automatically arrested, and they heed to what he or she has to say or the information that has been brought. Even information that comes in the nick of time gets to all students around the area. All memos that emerge from the management of the institution also begin their physical tour from the hostels except those passed via online media. On the other hand, students who stay off campus may get information quite late and are almost always at the mercy of hostelers as they rely on them for sensitive information.

4. Security
It is no doubt that the halls of residence are safer for students’ welfare as opposed to staying off campus where students are exposed to strangers, community hoodlums and a lot of other dangerous issues. The school is usually responsible for the safety of students who live within the campus premises, and security agents are always on guard.

5. Access to Medical Care
The school clinic or health centre is always located within the campus. Hostelers, in cases of emergency, can easily get good medical care and on time. They do not have to suffer time challenges, and the chances of the occurrence of irreparable damages are very slim.

6. Engenders Communal Culture of Living
Living in the school hostel makes students cultivate the lifestyle of communality which is inherently African and distinguishes us from the European culture of individuality, reshaping their psyche towards the achievement of the common good. Eventually, the same people who were once total strangers to one another become family and even elect a leader. They become an established community, doing things together: reading, sports, community service, etc.

7. Ready Market
The hostel is a ready market for the achievement of goals, be it academics, business, politics, recreational activities and others. In the hostel, for any course or movement, you find the manpower, the support, the publicity and the platform for it.

Disadvantages of Staying in School Hostels

1. Higher Cost of Living
The cost of living in the hostel is higher compared to that of living off campus. This situation is even worse in institutions where cooking is prohibited in the halls of residence. The average student has to spend a minimum of N1000 daily if he or she desires to have a considerably good three square course meal. The student who lives off campus can stock the apartment for certain amount and cook meals at home. This system is cheaper than daily food buying in the hostel.

2. Congestion
The halls of residence are always congested as hundreds of students live in it, with a considerably high number of 4 to 8 in each room, except in few cases of more modernized facilities that are built to accommodate two persons. Congestion takes away comfort and ease and no human being thrives in such environment.

3. Health Hazards
As an offshoot of the congestion challenge, occupants are exposed to several health hazards which, in extreme cases, could eventually lead to death. Epidemics can easily spread in the halls of residence, and dangerous illnesses can be contracted.

4. Poor Sanitary Conditions
 The average hostel is not neat, from the floors to the rooms and to the lavatory. Despite efforts put in to keep it clean, the hostel never remains neat because it is a communal property. The average student would not spend time cleaning up the hostel environment without a reward offered for it. The student who lives off campus is usually more committed to keeping the environment clean and enjoys neat surroundings.

5. Negative Influences
 When people meet one another in the halls of residence, they come with their different ideas and perspectives to life, coming from various backgrounds and laden with various experiences that have shaped them. During the period of their stay together, human interaction which connects people takes place, and bi-directional influences, positive and negative, abound. In the hostels, negative influences have a higher chance of affecting an individual compared to positive influences in our world today as the majority of young people are involved in diverse social vices and immoral activities.

In sum, one solid truth is that the demerits of staying in school hostels cannot be compared to the weight of merits hostelers stand to enjoy. Inasmuch as those who live off campus have the leisure and the opportunity to structure their lives however they deem fit, living in school hostels checkmates the average student and keeps the academic spirit and consciousness alive.

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