The blog highlights the learning experiences of students living in UMT Hostel.

One of the most interesting and yet intimidating challenges of living in UMT hostel is finding the right roommate, someone with whom you can ‘laugh, study and enjoy in all times.’ When I got admission in MS Media and Communication at UMT, I moved to UMT hostel in Lahore from Islamabad. Being an only daughter, the decision to move here was huge but with dad’s support, I was able to join the University with rejuvenating spirits and made friendships of a lifetime.

Here, I would like to share some efforts which can help you build positive relationship with someone you barely know.

Decide on Room Décor:  When I moved in, my first concern was the roommate and I was informed that I am going to share my room with Beena, an MPhil student of Sociology, from Multan. I thought about giving her a warm welcome by placing some flowers and vase on her side table.

Judging from Beena’s vibrant temperament and subject interest, I decided to make our room, cheerful and socially welcoming with colorful rugs and pictures. Later, Bina bought vases made from Multan’s famous blue pottery. 

Suggestion: Before you move in, decide on how you would like the room to be laid out, especially if your furniture can be moved or if the other person is bringing a TV. Checking on logistics is always a good option. You too can plan room décor together or make a shopping trip to local stores. There are numerous furniture outlets and home décor shops around the UMT Campus, which provide comfortable and affordable furniture for all occasions.

Arrange Time to Talk: Once the University started, Beena and I found time to sit and talk in the cafeteria. She shared her fear of cockroaches and lizards, whereas I discussed my cleanliness obsession. Later, we discovered our common phobia of darkness and bought a lamp which provided ‘dim and dramatic’ thinking mode at night. This was our first step to budding friendship. 

Suggestion: Always remember to use your informal tone in conversation, which can help you both set a rule list and share concerns of all sorts.

The Game Time: As suggested by our talkative friend Aliya, a student of Bachelor of Textile Design (BTD) at UMT, roommate game activity at night can help break the ice.

Suggestion: The game is pretty simple. One roommate is given a piece of paper and a marker to answer questions such as “What is your favorite country?” while the other roommate is outside. When a group of three questions are asked, you can bring in the second roommate and have them try to guess what their roommate said. For every correct answer, the ‘team’ gets a point.

The Food Factor: Moving away from family and coming to live in hostel is not easy and one remains an emotional wreck for days. I remember when I moved to Lahore, I didn’t sleep for a month and used to cry in blankets. It was Bina, who wiped away my tears and treated me with chocolates. Once the rhythm of studies settled, we became calmer and enjoyed the air of independence. Our study sessions were incomplete without music, sandwiches and fresh juices.  

Suggestion: Food factor is a great stress reliever during such times.

Expect Noise: When you are living in UMT hostel, you should expect some noise along the way, no matter how strict the rules are, even if students are not disrupting, there will be some degree of hustle bustle in the background. Bina and I went crazy in the beginning but made compromises on ear plugs plus we had already witnessed the worst traffic noise of Lahore. 

Suggestion: Try to make peace with all kinds of noises and visit a nearby coffee shop, if you are looking for personal space.

Prepare to Meet the Diversity: UMT is a place where you will meet and interact with all sorts of people. Since you are away from your family, the most mild-tempered person could be on edge. I remember when I moved to Lahore, I heard someone made unkind remarks about my dressing and hair style and fashion comparisons made between Lahore and Islamabad, till came a time when we became immune to such comments and became more focused on our studies.

Suggestion: Mingle with all but make friends with like minded people.  

Many fun filled things happened during our stay at UMT, our friendships survived in tough times too. But important thing is that we made efforts and set priorities in following hostel norms and rules. I hope that these learning experiences of ours can help you find the right roommate who can help you value freedom in a responsible manner and set foundations for great friendships.

Happy Exploring!



Insha Rafique

Insha Rafique is a Software Engineer. She has done her Bachelors in Software Engineering from UMT.

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