Life of a Commuter: Pros and Cons of commuting to uni
Deciding what university to go to, which city to make your second home and planning your life at (quite often) the age of 18 can be a very daunting task.
Choosing whether to fly the nest and move somewhere new or stay in your hometown/close by can be difficult.
During my first year of university I lived in student halls however for second year, and where I currently I am, I chose to do the one hour commute instead. Opting to live at home rather than in my university city.
I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons I’ve experienced during this year, so if you are struggling to choose hopefully this will help you.
- Save Money – This is the main reason as to why I’m still commuting. During first year my student loan didn’t cover my rent let alone food or other expenses so this was what pushed me to try living at home and travelling to uni instead. As a result, I’ve saved sooo much money. My only expense has been paying for the train which – if I book in advance – is about £200 for three months. During uni, my parents have said I don’t have to pay rent as I’m in full time education which I’m grateful for so I’ve eliminated the expense of rent and food. Allowing me to save money to travel!
- Separation of university and home – Whilst living in your uni city, it can be difficult to feel as though you’ve gotten away from the stress/endless pieces of coursework and exam revision. It’s nice to get the train back and be able to make that distinction between learning/stress and home. I feel like I can relax at home, but as soon as I’m on the train I’m in full learning mode.
- ‘Extra’ time – If you’re not driving, but instead going by public transport, you will have extra time to brush up on your notes or reading. The extra hour that you would typically spend in bed can be utilised for your benefit. Whether that be reading non-academic books, getting in some last minute revision before an exam or re-reading your notes, you’re utilising time you probably wouldn’t have otherwise. This can also relate to free periods during your day, as you’re not able to pop home for a few hours, that time can be spent in the library, doing errands or catching up with extra activities.
- Missing out on uni life – I often have to decline invites to house parties and events because I’m at home working which can be frustrating. Also, this year I’m not involved in any societies or clubs (unlike last year) due to them being on different days to uni days but I don’t mind that too much. (Thankfully, this hasn’t affected me too much as most of my friends don’t go to uni, so I can still go out every weekend if I choose too).
- No easy access to uni resources – There are some days where all you want is to get your meal deal and head to the library to solidly work without distractions. This isn’t easy if you’re living far away. However, a way around this is to see if your local university offers a scheme where students from other universities can use their facilities, such as the library. Sometimes, I travel just to use the library which is a pain but knowing I can do this is a great alternative.
- Early starts – There’s no rolling out of bed at 8:55am to make it to your nine am, you’re often going to have to be up a few hours earlier which when you have nine ams can be annoying. To get to my 9ams I get up at six am, set off at seven am and get the train at half past seven. However, it’s earlier when I get the bus rather than a lift because that’s an extra half an hour. All in all, with the bus added, my journey is an hour and a half longer than it is for others. This, I can handle. But, if it was any longer I would not be commuting.