I am a second year student at university and while I chose to live away from home this year my first year of university was spent mostly at train stations waiting to catch my delayed-trains to and from university. You see there is a luxury to living close to the university you attend, you can choose to live at home spending less money than if you lived where you attended and you don’t have to worry about budgeting. This was the life I chose for first year and it was great, I didn’t have many worries I simply did my chores and attended university however, there is a down side too.
- You have a lecture at nine so you have to wake up two hours earlier: We all loathe those early lectures they’re hard to get up for but when your commuting its important to make sure you have an hour of travelling time just in case of delays. On top of that, there is needing to get ready and have breakfast so early mornings will soon be your friend.
- Always go for the earlier bus: No matter what time of day, if you live out of a town or city and need to get to the train station the bus is your chosen route. I learnt the hard way during my first week-always go for the earlier bus. It never fails that the bus is early and so leaves before they need to or they’re 5/10 minutes late which means your going to miss your train. So, go for the bus before the time you say you need to leave and you’re bound to get there on time.
- Early nights are your friend: While everyone living away is out on club nights, you’ll find yourself tucking up in bed at ten just so you won’t be exhausted from sitting on public transport for an hour. Your life is spent going from bus to train so, you’ll find yourself often exhausted and missing out on that university experience.
- You don’t go out as much: Most of your friends have left to go live at university and so, you won’t be able to see them much apart from holidays. Unless, you have a really nice friend at university you won’t be going out either purely because the amount of travel becomes ridiculous and you’d rather stay in.
- All day classes: We all have a day where we are in classes with about a two/three hour gap in between and there is no point heading home because you’ll only have an hour before you need to leave again. If you commute, you’ll have days where you have three hours to do nothing and those living here can go home. The solution is simple, I had a group of friends that would stay with me and we’d head to the pub but if that isn’t the case for you then use the time to do work. I did both of these and found it easy to be on top of assignments. Use your time wisely.
But don’t be off put by commuting there are benefits also;
- Money: While your classmates are complaining about having no money, you can sit there quietly relishing in the fact you’ll have plenty of money by the time you finish and that helps if you are planning on living away the second year.
- Family: We all moan about our family-they won’t let you do something or they’re too pushy etc. But at the end of the day if you’re commuting they are there to help relieve stress, bring you food and drink and be a support network which is something you need for university.
- No Homesickness: Students are notorious for wanting to go home at weekends to the point, they could have just commuted especially if they live nearby. Anyone living away for the first time is constantly worried, always talking to parents and that feeds homesickness coupled with hearing what the family is doing. By commuting, you get the best of both worlds you can go to university and see your friends as well as seeing your family and doing activities with them.
- “You’ll have no worries for the rest of your days” (its a problem free philosophy…): Many students are worried about food, what they’re doing, if they can afford necessities… but living at home means no worries. Your parents are there to help, you don’t have to worry about buying washing powder-wondering which you are allergic too because only your mum has ever needed to know that or if you’ll suddenly react to certain products. Its just easier sometimes to be at home where there are people who know you and what you like.
So, this is my little survival guide to commuting. I chose to live away for my second year as its an experience you should get. Everyone needs to live away sooner or later and university offers that experience while providing a safety net so why not? But if you do decide to commute remember there are upsides also, don’t think your missing out because speaking from experience no student goes out every night. Most of us are sat in pjs, having a drink and binging on The Walking Dead so, trust me its not all wild nights especially after first year when the assignments get harder and you need to do more to keep up.