Yeah,we all know how you all trail-blazers have aced your way through the MCAT and just how very exclusive you all are for making it to KE. So I will spare you all that eulogizing and get to the point. The thing is getting into KE is the easiest part. It's the things you have to face within the confines of this place that mess(yeah I'd rather use the F-Word here but you get the idea anyway) your whole life up.
Yup,you got it right. Studies are challenging. Finding your place in the power structure that makes up the whole uni life is even tougher.
But those coming to live on campus have to face the biggest challenge of settling in new environs.
The majority of KE freshmen are,lets face it,nerds who have probably never failed a class test in their entire lives. But listen to me kiddos:this isn't school anymore,so you better grow up. Mommy and daddy wont save your backs here. So learn to face what life throws your way. And once you do that,believe me,nothing could stop you from living on the edge,as we call it here.
Dream all you can. We all do. But please don't get carried away. I know many of you are imagining KE dorms to look like they morphed right outta some John Green novel. But,hey,this is no fancy American college. The dorms(and by that I mean the Boys' Dorm;the Girls' Dorms are strictly off limits to all things male,so I've got no idea about their working,and thats why I delegated that part to the very talented Unsa)here are pretty much desi. They call them hostels here. The rooms are airy and expansive. The corridors are well lit. We have a couple of lawns,tennis and ping-pong courts,and a very sorry excuse for a common room.
The Halls Of Residence:
The boys are lucky enough to have SIX colossal halls of residence. We have The Broome Hall, The Farooq Hall,The New Hall,The C & D Halls all situated in one giant complex on the Link Mcleod Road,plus there is another hall of residence on Hall Road. The Farooq Hall is the most hoity-toity one but its mostly reserved for top scorers,foreign students and any guest students(e.g.those coming for debate competitions etc.).As a rule freshmen are temporarily accommodated in Hall Road residence hall or as was the case with us,in the Broome Hall. Still this could change this year as the admin has recently vacated around a dozen rooms on the second floor of the New Hall,probably for the coming Freshmen. Still whatever the case,the rooms are all kinda nice!
Well ya,we have a common room-cum-ping-pong-area in the New Hall basement,a Cricket/Soccer ground, a badminton court in the New Hall courtyard,a kinda impressive swimming pool,a not-so-bad tennis court,but thats just about it. No gym. No library. No chic all-night cafeteria(but we do have a 'Khokha'and a pratha place),no tea-gardens and no lakes(hell yes, there is one in AKU!)
The Link Mcleod Complex has a mosque,two study rooms,a stationary shop,laundry,a hair saloon and a tailor&cobbler's place.
Dining in Style:
Broome Hall,New Hall and C Hall each boast its own kitchens and dining rooms. Hygiene standards are never compromised and the food is scrumptious. The meal plan is charted out by the Mess Manager(normally a senior year student) and the food served is wholesome and well cooked. The meal plans are almost similar in all kitchens and you could choose to subscribe to any one of the three.
When Packing Stuff:
When packing stuff for your dorm room make sure to stock your toiletry bag well with your tooth brush,soap bars,shampoos,body wash,listern,shavers,a good alcohol or gel-based aftershave,cold creams and stuff. Plus throw in things like deodorants,tooth picks and ear muffs. Do bring your own flip-flops as the shower floors in the dorms can be real messy and crawling with all sorts of bacteria. Pack lots of warm clothes and woolen underwear/long johns for the winter months. Ask Mommy to buy you some new PJs for you dorm because frankly its quite embarrassing to walk around the dorm in your old holey pyjamas at night.
Most people don't buy things like fridges or microwave until after the permanent allotment that happens in May,but still you could at least bring a heating rod/kettle,an iron,an electric heater(preferably the fan one) as it gets quite cold here in the winters. Bring your duvet/blanket and depending upon your preference you could buy a mattress alone or you could get an inexpensive bed/charpoy too. In any case you would need to carpet the room.
Stock your laptop/iPad/nexus with lots of epubs,movies and songs as chances are you won't have immediate wifi access. The KEMCANA guys have gone beside themselves what with installing new antennas every now and then and even building a state-of-the-art computer lab,but even then the dorm wifi sucks(plus they have blocked torrent downloading:( ) Most of us have bought our own modems in groups of twos and threes.
Skyping with your folks helps keep homesickness at bay and same goes for long midnight talks with mom!
P.S.Do pack a couple of padlocks when first coming to the dorm as the wardens normally don't provide you one with the room.
How We Break Juniors In:
The modus operandi when breaking in juniors here is that nasty thing called ragging.Like it or not this cruel practice isn't dying out any time soon. The first night at the dorms is theworst. The crudest form of ragging happens then. Here's what I would suggest--avoid dorm for the first couple of nights;stay at a relative's place or with an older cousin or sibling.For the first month lock your room doors right after the evening meal and don't wander in the corridors after eight.The ragging mania lasts one obscenely long month but gradually dies its own death.
And then there always are the 'nice' seniors who actually wanna interact with juniors over a cup of coffee and even offer generous help with your studies and stuff. Remember---never try to be smart or cocky with the seniors--nothing rankles more than an impudent junior.
Your seniors are eventually gonna end-up becoming your best friends helping you out in every test and stage prep(and this goes esp. for the immediate seniors)
Eat-Outs Around the Dorms:
We all like to treat our taste-buds now and then and its times like these that we usually set out to explore the rich cuisine Lahore is so famous for.From the taka-tuk of Laxmi Roundabout to the Goga Chanay in the Old Food Street,from the matchless Chamanice-parlor on Hall Road to the hareesa hotels of Nisbat Road there is a fine collection of traditional and modern eateries to tease and tickle your taste-buds. For fast-food junkies there areSubway,KFC,McDonald,Dominos and Pizza Hut outlets in addition to other less well-known eateries on the Mall and yes,you can always get pizza and snacks delivered to your room.
There's this amazing app called The Food Panda(available on both Apple and Google Play stores) that lets you choose your favorite snacks from any of your nearby restaurants(listed on the app)and the Food Panda team will then home deliver your desired food to you. This way you are spared the agony of calling each restaurant and seeking their menus .
Then there is always the option of a rickshaw ride to M M Alam and its countless bistros and sleek restaurants.
Juggling your Studies&Fun Together:
While uni life is a lot more fun compared to the paranoid premed routine,the subjects here are demanding. The Anatomy Department will never let you rest and you will be plagued with countless substages,stages,tests and OSPEs starting from your second week. Cram the facts well because in the exams you are expected to regurgitate the learnt facts and nothing much beside that. Give plenty of time to Anatomy.Try to pass all your Physiology tests because they matter a lot in helping to build you a strong Internal Assessment and the Examiners always refer to your test results during the prof vivas.
Your dorm is your home away from home. Make lots of new friends. Have lots of water fights. Have Vampire themed birthday parties and plaster cake on each other's faces. Make memories and learn to live on your own,for once managing your affairs by your self.
Remember,try to steer yourself clear off the harm's way. Be wise and choose your friends and foes wisely. Smoking pot,drinking and similar shenanigans wont get you anywhere.
Stay strong,make wise choices and make your parents proud.Childish tantrums and petty feuds would only make things difficult for you. Its time to grow up into responsible adults and meet the daunting world head-on.
Looking forward to meeting you all(yeah,over that promised cup of coffee!).
God bless you all!