Students decide to commute to university for a multitude of reasons, and this seems to be increasing more and more each year, particularly depending on the current situation or personal circumstance. However, commuting can be a fantastic experience for anybody and it’s really not an idea to be swept aside.
1. Creating a balance
Firstly, commuting enables you to maintain a healthy balance between social life and study. Unlike living in halls, you might actually get a decent night sleep. Living at home removes the possibility of being woken-up at 3AM by a noisy flatmate in the middle of exam season. For some, home limits that possibility of disruption. Lots of people may say that commuting will leave you with an ever-present feeling of FOMO, but this isn’t the case. Living at home puts you in control over how much, or how little time you spend at university. Your student experience is as fun and as spontaneous as you make it.
2. Saving the £££s
Assuming you are lucky enough to still live under the roof of your parents or other caring guardian, commuting to university will mean paying significantly less rent, if any at all! (It might even mean home-cooked meals … say no more!) Arguably, one of the largest expenses of student life is food and rent. Students who commute benefit from cutting down on these hefty sums and often leave uni with lower debts and more money to spend on the important (and enjoyable!) things.
3. Maintaining a daily structure
Commuting is a great way to divide your day between work, and down time. Not a great planner? Now is a great chance to get organising. Planning your study sessions, commute, and extra-curricular activities gives you a good idea of how much free time you have and when. As a result, you have a perfect starting point for organising your social calendar. Study time can be scheduled between your 7:30AM – 5PM, with your ride home marking its end. This sort of planning is a great display or time-management. Commuting helps put boundaries in place which help you to focus on work and limits unnecessary procrastination. Above all, you are free to follow your own routine, however you work best. Creating a daily to-do list is a great tool to ensure everything gets done. [It also helps you to know when you’ve got time to yourself, whether it be binging your favourite TV series or keeping active].
4. Study on the commute
The daily commute doesn’t have to be seen as a negative. Choosing to travel by public transport over driving means that no time is ‘wasted’. For example, an hour train ride allows for you to think about the day ahead, or perhaps to reflect on its events. You could even grab a coffee and delve into the latest book you are reading – this will help to pass the time. Feeling motivated? It’s the perfect place to smash out the essay you’ve been putting off writing, usually without the distraction of a reliable Wi-Fi connection. A Win-Win scenario. (Psssttt, Google Docs has an offline mode, so no excuse).
5. You can effortlessly make friends
Lastly, as a commuting student you can plan how you spend your weekends. Why not ask some course mates to hang out? A great way to meet new people is by joining sports teams or societies as these are easy to pick up and can really allow you to establish long-lasting relationships with others. There’s no reason why commuting should diminish your university experience. If there’s a party or social event happening on campus, why not politely ask to stay overnight at your friends place for the night? That way you can still get involved! You can also stay at uni to attend campus events, even if it means getting home a little later. Keep in touch with people where you live and with people from university. Commuting can allow you to maintain a range of friendship bubbles, so you really get the best of both. But most importantly surround yourself with like-minded individuals, and people who allow you to be the best version of YOU.
Commuting can make for an immensely valuable student experience; it is really down to the individual. It can seem very daunting to begin with, particularly if you are in your first year. Despite this, there are lots of groups you can join with other commuting students who will be preparing to do the same thing. These are always a friendly support and can help with any concerns you might have. You can also take advantage of the friendly support services available on campus!
What do you think? Would you prefer to live at home and commute to university? Or is living away from home one of the key parts of the university experience? Let us know in the comments below!
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