Of rats and soggy croissants - the ultimate hostel survival guide

One year ago , around this very same time, I entered the bounds of the the gargantuan *pun intended* Old Girls Hostel , KEMU.
Neela Gunbad tu thora agy jao,tey sajey hath muro thora agy ja k aik gali wich kala gate aye da, lo agya twada hostel.

The daunting black gates, the threatening curfew notice on top (which by the way is never followed so jitney marzi bajey M.M.Alam se wapis aao) and the black-clad slightly stout uncles to greet you , your first impression of the hostel would no doubt be horrible, but you already knew you were not entering into the Ritz Carlton anyways.
Don't let that scare you.
Hostel , at first sight, was a nightmare.The allotment was more like throwing your mattress on any piece of carpeted ground you could find and claiming that space to be yours.

Thirteen girls in a single room, with mattresses side to side , was no slumber party.Sadly on our first night there, the rugby-sized rats gate crashed as well and added to the misery of cold showers and fungus.

The loathsome creature , snuggled up under a friend's mattress

Now that I have hopefully sucked all the happy freshman spirit out of all of you soon-to-be hostellites, let me tell you that despite the below humane living conditions , despite the prof-depression , despite EVERYTHING , last year has been the BEST year of my life and this hell hole finally seems like home.It is all about perspective.
Even a usual cockroach or two in the cafetaria biryani start appearing funny after a while.
And now that you have decided to embark on this boarder's journey , no backing out!!!
Himaat-e-mardan . Maddad-e-Khuda.
Now the controversial issue as to whether the new first year shall be shifted to the boy's hostel or not is still unresolved but two or three things remain the same , in the start you have to live with a larger group of students and within three, four months , the rooms are alloted according to merit.

Hostel life , like every other thing in life , has its pros and cons.

The perks of the hostel life
Group Study.
MBBS is all about group study.
Half of the substages that I passed I didn’t study a word of, Humerus Gondal ney parha di , Scapula Sania ney.

Our second subsage I would never forget, I and Amna hadn’t studied a word and we were lying eyes half closed under the duvets at three, the night before the substage and Qayyum read out the entire three chapters out to us , shouting “Manhuso, kuch parhlo, kuch parhlo”.In case you are wondering, yes!!!we did pass.
In prof, all the day scholars had to read out the entire chapters of surface marking from the book , all we did was grab a chalk and head off to the Gujranwala wala theeta dorm and surface marking done and practiced in half an hour.
The point being that living in a hostel makes studying so much easier, when about a fifty people are up along with you roaming in the grounds, ratifying from the Mushtaqs at five in the morning, three , four hours from the prof, it keeps you motivated.
Plus , you have seniors to guide you all around the clock.
With great independence, comes ,automatically, a complete of lack of sanity.Enough with following schedules, hostel mein jab marzi utho , jab marzi so, jo karna hai karo.
Remember , you left the ever nagging parents at home, its time to stay up till five in the morning, order fries at three in the morning and complete all your seasons of Grey's Anatomy.
On a serious note, independence leads to maturity.
With nobody to pamper you around the clock , you learn to be self-dependent, manage your budget , iron your clothes , all very important lessons for life.
Anarkali - out the backdoor.
When lazy Sundays at the hostel get way too boring, one sneaks out the backdoor to explore the heart of Lahore , Anarkali. So did we.
Cheap thrills ,neon lights and Dolce and Gabbana bags for 150PKR a piece , Anarkali is a wonder in itself. We set out to explore the heart of Lahore in a huge group. Kasr-e-shereen k samosay , Guddu Fries , Riaz ka Faluda, we tried it all.So should you.

Unchaperoned rickshaw rides
I believe that once you get into K.E, it’s like proof enough of your sanity so you have the official right to go insane. Seriously going down the elevator the wrong way around, trying out all the outfits one can find in a mall, hanging out from the sides of the rickshaw and scaring people on the sidewalk sure is a hell lot of fun.
Exploring Lahore
Chocolate peppermint tastes like toothpaste
On the first weekend we spent at the hostel, while others set off to fortress we caught a rickshaw to the Mall. A scoop of Movenpick and a large platter of panini sandwiches later, we were like “Hey!!!!This feels like Lahore atlas!!!” Having spent all my childhood summers at my Nano’s, Lahore was no alien, but discovering and rediscovering new places unchaperoned and with crazy chaotic friends has its own allure.


What to pack
MOST HANDY: A blindfold.
Everyone has their own sleeping schedules and chances are the lights shall forever be lit, blindingly neon, over your very head, so do bring a blindfold.Duppatay can be equally useful.

Ipod, Laptop, a couple of novels, the works.
Hostel life can be stressful , always being around the same people can be maddening at times and thus it is of utmost importance that you spend some time with yourself , listen to your favorite songs, take a quiet walk , it will help you preserve your sanity.
Music shall be your only comfort at bad times and living without your itunes is impossible.



Flip-flops and/or shower shoes


Bathroom items

Shampoo & conditioner

Soap (Body wash is easiest)

Bath towels

Nail clippers/file





Bedding(Pillow, mattress cover, duvet and your favorite cushions)


Snacks (usually have to be in airtight container)

Kettle , for the chai-coffee shauqeen.

A mug, bowl, plate , essential cutlery , don’t bring your Ammi’s best silverware ,the aunties who do the dishes have a side hobby of collecting mugs and forks and so.


Mosquito repellant

Aspirin, other essential pills.

Microwave, A.C , Refiragator, cupboard, bed sab kuch baad mein.

Be prepared to spend some quality time with the dishwash
Yes , we all brought our highly spoiled selves to the hostel , never having done a single dish in our life , so used to flinging our shirts in the laundry bucket. Well, that’s going to have to change.
Ironing your own shirts is a BIG deal.

This is how we do it!!

Be game for ragging.
Ragging may seem like one of those weird tortuous rites of passages you see in boarding school movies and it shalt be no less of an ordeal *evil chuckles* but it’s the best way to get to know your seniors, trust me.
Seniors are going to be your best friends throughout, marking the important things for substages, telling you all about the short cuts so aik raat k liye do what we ask you to do araam se (you’d be doing the exact same thing with toothpaste smeared all over your face if you don’t do it willingly anyways)

Choosing your friends wisely
University years are the ones in which you make friends that shall last your entire life. Friends that stay up the entire night with you when its your sub stage and you haven’t done a single thing , the laptop-waley friends that make you watch movies till four in the morning right before the physiology test , the ultimate metal head friends who mock you for that single Katy Perry song in your ipod and introduce you to the world of “Children of Bodom” , friends who make you johar-joshanda when you are down with flu , the thetas who kick you out of the dorm cause you wont study and wont let them study either , the ones who paint your nails blue for you and the ones that bring you tikriyan and sohan halwa . The ones who know shall always have your back and will always lend you your cellphone when you need to place an order at three in the morning. At times, these people seem to be the only reason you endure all the difficulties hostel life brings along.
But be careful in the start , people can v-e-r-y creepy.

Change Your Attitude

One of the most important hostel survival tips to dealing with a stay in terrible accommodation is to change your attitude. When you approach the situation in the right way, everything really is not so bad.

Crushing Marie biscuits for a late night cream dessert , the med way.


If your idea of meal times was the huge table at Hogwarts and all the scrumptious khaney ,woah are you in for a surprise.
Rustam and Mudassar shall be your house-elves and half of your time would be spent shouting "Rustam, roti ley aao" , "Mudassar, raita la do".
The left over ublay howey chawal that are served with daal in dupahar , are tossed with a few vegetables at night and voila!!! you have chinese rice on the menu.
The food is edible though and there is a choice or two always.

AlKareem and Red Chilli are the real saviors though.

Sick of the roach-infested biryani of the hostel cafeteria and famished to death , Al-Kareeem , to us, was like heaven. The size of the place didn’t matter much , what mattered was the distinctive aroma of freshly baked bread that embraced us all in a calorific hug.
Waris key tikkay are also a less fattening option.

And if all fails , head to M.M.Alam.

The ever annoying billiyan
Any mention of the hostel would be incomplete without the mention of the narcissistic bitches that reside here.
If you are a cat lover though, this place shall be heaven for you.

The best part of our hostel - the chatt.
If I owe my sanity to anything , its the view of the twin gunbads of the physiology block, from our chatt.
They have, so many times, in between sobs of homesickness-induced fevers reminded me of why I am going through all the tough times ; for the greater good.

When the going gets tough

They will remind you too , as they have reminded me, that your life has a purpose larger than yourself.
Moreover ,living in a dorm environment means you're with people every minute of your day. Don't go crazy! Find a way to get yourself some alone time, chatt tey bey k taarey ginno.
Right now.Forever.Always.

Dealing with homesickness.
One word: Skype.
A cry in the cubicle does wonders too.

Ultimate Survival tips

Be extremely careful with your belongings.

Keep an open mind and don't discriminate as you will meet people from different backgrounds both  socially and economically.

Be spontaneous and up for anything new.

Be ready to adjust than sulk.

To all the new boarders, you are going to have a hell of a time.Welcome to K.E.M.U!!!

P.S Special thanks to Fazila Gondal and Fatima Qayyum for compiling the photos.


  1. well compiled..seems like u have spend alot of time at hostel

  2. This is awsome,(Y)
    and you are always welcome :D

  3. Haha....love you Kemunited❤....that was one hell of a guide....thanks!

  4. another of your awesomes ;-)
    and you are welcome anytime.

  5. wish someone like you had been there to guide us stupid souls through the "Great Depression" XD
    bravo (Y)

  6. Very nice read. You make an inspiring senior already :)

  7. seriously u made my day after reading this now i will mentaly prepare myself for hostel life thnks alot to you :) would love to be there in ur guidance :)

  8. And here you go again Amna (Y)

    You encompassed Everything :) Time to be cool, new comers ;)

  9. Once again, a treat for the reader. (Y)
    Though mere kisi kaam ka nahi but reading it is still hella fun ^_^

  10. amna im liking Rat under ur mattress..:P

  11. Thankyou everyone :)
    Anum ,Yeh guidance wala tu masla hojaye ga, I am not a very good influence ;)

  12. Maam Sidra, warden house k rats hain hi alaa.

  13. warden house k rats mind kr gae r josh main a gae to????????????:P

  14. This was the best documentry on hostel life, i ever read ;)

  15. Heh. This is eye-opening. I now have photographic proof to show my mother who was vehemently denying the possibility of there being rats in the dorms. Best back a couple of those rat glue catchers.

    And do they have wifi in the hostels? Please.say.yes.

  16. YES.

    Fit wala wifi , we download seasons all day long :) :)

  17. It was great coming across something like this. First i couldn't believe that this was actually K.E's blog. I mean I was expecting total nerd kinda students with no links with the outer world. But this is actually rather cool. Got admission in BDS de'mont, does that count us as a part of K.E, as most of the classes are in K.E!


  19. well how can i contact the writer of this blog :)
    pls provide assiatance asap..


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