The Hosteller’s Guide to basic hygiene

Growing up, we’ve had numerous lessons by our parents, our teachers, doctors, Dora the Explorer, Noddy, etc., on the importance of good hygiene. Smiling faces narrate to us a speech that has no doubt been preached to hundreds of children before and after us. Over the years, we’ve been given The Talk so many times that you’d think it impossible for the recipients to forget.

And yet, here we are today.

Staying in a hostel indeed transforms you. It teaches you life lessons like nothing else can. And apparently, it takes away some rather fundamental ones too.

So, without any further ado, I present to you The Hosteller’s Guide to Basic Hygiene.

  • Brushing your teeth

We’ve all been through the panic of sleeping through all ten alarms set at three minute intervals and proceeding to wake up precisely five minutes before class begins. In all your haste to get to class though, the author begs you to remember to brush. As someone that has been forced to grimace and smile back at one yellow smile too many, she guarantees that it is a sure-shot way to lose a few (or more) friends. So, brush. Please.

  • Having a bath

Ahh. It is impossible to skirt around this or cover up this monster of an elephant. We’ve all heard (read: given) the excuse of, “Dei, no water in the bathrooms da.” You will find that the author understands these issues deeply, and sympathises. However, she reminds you that deodorant only does so much. Putting the removal of dead skin and dirt aside, no one really wants to sit next to someone that causes them to question why they’d never invested in an oxygen tank. Keeping in mind,  “Do unto others, ” and all (remember your poor roommate), it might be a good idea to bathe regularly.

  • Cutting your nails

Now. Being engineers, you might argue that we don’t really need to cut our nails. We don’t need to worry about infecting others with dirt caught in our nails. True as this may be, we can get into quite a few sticky situations too. The pain of losing a nail to a piece of laboratory equipment is a feeling indescribable by words. (Tears and a few choice expletives might, though.) The mess that is subsequently produced, coupled with a carefully constructed face of agony could get you a free pass out of a few lab sessions though.

  • Combing your hair

For several centuries, word has been passed down from parent to child that the secret to beautiful hair is brushing it every night before we go to bed. When you’re racing to stay on top of classes, extra-curriculars, and submissions, who has time for beautiful hair, eh? Here’s where the author chooses to let you in on a secret. Legend has it that during events such as placements, people with hair that has been tamed are looked up to, and selected as The Chosen Few. Obvious conclusion, keep that mane washed and combed down, and life will open up pathways for you.

With that, we come to an end of this short yet (hopefully) enlightening session. As members of the community that are on the cusp of entering the bracket titled Adult, these have often been deemed as life lessons that each of us must know.

Remember, stay fresh and impress!

– Kavya Bhavaraju
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