How to survive in a student hostel: 8 tips from Lifehacker readers

” Let me know ” is a rubric for our readers’ stories. Every week we launch a survey and look forward to your comments. Recently, a freshman girl wrote to us in the editorial office with a request to share life hacks that will help to equip life in a student dormitory. You gave a lot of advice that is relevant for our reader and many other students. We collected them in this article.

1. Don’t abuse your freedom

When parents do not need to show the school diary and report on their movements, it becomes possible to try everything that has been forbidden at home for so long: going to clubs, smoking, skipping couples.

However, it is important not to lose your head. Greater freedom also means greater responsibility. To fulfill the cherished dreams for which you came to a new city, you have to learn how to manage your time , plan finances , organize your life and keep your room in order .

This does not mean at all that you need to become a “boring adult” and forget about all the delights of student life. As always, strength is in balance. Yes, you can skip an unloved subject a couple of times, but going headlong into a week-long spree is not the best idea.


If you don’t smoke or drink, it’s best not to start. It is easy to start a bad habit, but it is difficult to get rid of it later. And yes, if every day at breaks you go out to smoke for the company, it’s worth admitting: you smoke, and not just indulge.

2. Set up a cleaning routine and schedule

Most often, quarrels between neighbors happen because of domestic problems. To avoid this, it is worth discussing in advance the rules that will help maintain order and cleanliness in the room. For this:

  • Create a schedule where you take turns mopping, dusting, and cleaning the bathroom and toilet.
  • Agree to wash your dishes immediately after eating, especially if the plates and spoons are shared. This will help to avoid the appearance of cockroaches.
  • Divide the territory into your own, someone else’s and the common. Agree not to litter or litter the common area. If your neighbor is used to storing books, candy wrappers and tea mugs on the table, calmly explain to him that this should not be done in a common area. On a personal note, please.

3. Set up “quiet hours”

Silence is a value when you constantly live in the same room with other people. So that you can concentrate on your business and take a break from the noise, set a time during which each of you will try to be quiet: not talking, watching movies or listening to music with headphones.

4. Join the student council of the hostel

If your university has internal organizations cooperating with the administration of the hostel, then you can try to join them. This will bring you closer to leadership.


At one time I was the head of the floor. I had a good relationship with the commandant, so after my second year I was able to move into a single room. At the same time, there was no need to stress. It was only necessary to break the news to the neighbors on the floor and once a month to check the rooms for cleanliness. This system does not work in all hostels. But if in yours – yes, then I advise you to grab the opportunity by the tail.

If you don’t have time for such activities, just try to maintain good relations with the commandants and guards – stay friendly and always say hello.

5. Find “dead souls”

“Dead souls” are people who have the right to live in a hostel, but due to some circumstances do not live there. For example, they came from another city and rent an apartment. If you agree with them about settling in one room, you will get a free bed and, perhaps, even be able to live in a room alone.

6. Stay Tolerant

Each of us is guided by our life principles and guidelines. To avoid conflicts, you should respect the people with whom you live. Perhaps they had a completely different way of life in their family or they grew up in a different culture – this does not give rise to insults. If you are uncomfortable with the actions of a neighbor, calmly talk about it and try to find a solution together without getting personal.

7. Start a small business

The hostel is a good place to work. For example, if you have a printer, you can advertise in student groups that you are printing a page for 5-10 rubles. You won’t earn millions on this, but it’s enough for lunch in the canteen. Especially in the periods before the sessions, when everyone is chasing teachers to finish the essays.


When I lived in a hostel, I did manicures for the girls in the neighborhood. They told their girlfriends about me, and as a result, I consistently had 3-4 clients a week. It turned out to be a good amount.

8. Cook your own food

Buying ready-made food is quite an expensive undertaking. If the money that your parents send you is not enough, it is better to reconsider your eating habits and cook on your own. There are many simple recipes that even beginners in the kitchen can do.

This approach also increases the chances of eating right: fast food and convenience foods are less useful than light chicken soup or buckwheat with vegetables. And if your diet matches the diets of your neighbors, then it makes sense to cooperate and cook food in turn. This will reduce the time spent at the stove and possibly reduce the cost of the dish.

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