Student Life

A Commuters Survival Guide

Morning Commutes

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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;

Hakuna Matata
Hakuna Matata
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. “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.  


Getting Over The Hill

Yes, it’s a hill!

I am an ex amateur athlete which basically means up until the age of 14 I used to compete for my school, take part in an athletics club and keep fit regularly. But then, an unfortunate incident occurred- I fell down some stairs which led to torn ligaments, bruises and a swollen foot. I wasn’t allowed to complete any sports activity for six weeks so that, what I had injured inside my ankle could strengthen. As someone who had always competed in some sort of sport till that point, I was upset understandably and even more so after the six week mark when my fitness wasn’t as good and I couldn’t run far before it was painful on my ankle. So, as most teenagers do, I gave up and stopped sports further declining my fitness and for all intensive purposes I became as close to a girly girl, as I have ever become.

Over the next few years, as it got to the end of secondary school, I had decided to start going to the gym-upset by the way I looked and wanting to gain some fitness back, also it was soon to be prom. I enjoyed the gym for a while but still yearned to be outside. On the plus side, my ankle began to improve as I attended the gym- it got stronger although I’ll never be 100%. During college, I went to the gym sporadically but enough to keep up a level of fitness.

At the beginning of my first year of university, I decided to begin running again and so, I spoke to my dad- member of a running club and has been competing in marathons, half-marathons, 10k, 5k, 3k and so on and he started myself running again. I was overjoyed to find my fitness was fine however, it is much more difficult running out in the world to a treadmill despite being able alter the machine there is nothing to compare to running on the roads and in the countryside including the fact that my ankle, felt more pressure running on changing environments. However, as I moved for my second year of university my motivation dissipated. I wasn’t sure where to run, if it was safe in the city etc until recently, when I mapped out a route on my computer of 3 miles that included a loop of the park near my house.

Now, getting over the hill- you may be wondering why I chose this title in particular. I have two reasons; firstly, getting over my injury was an uphill battle it knocked the wind out of me and secondly, on this 3 mile route there is a hill at the beginning of the park that I literally struggle on every time although I have made it 3/4 of the way up before needing to walk now! So, as you can see getting over the hill is quite relevant.

I’m not the fittest or the thinnest person but I’m getting there and I just wanted to create a post showing that you may be a beginner or like myself getting back into sport but it is possible to gain confidence, get back to yourself. Honestly, you do not even have to start by running just go for a walk and as you gain more confidence begin to run. My father runs because he does races, I run for fun and to relieve stress and so, you don’t have to compete if you don’t want to. It can simply be about looking after yourself.

Furthermore, I more recently discovered yoga is seriously just as much as a workout as running, so mix it up search videos online and try them out. At the end of the day whether you want to begin running or pick up after a long break-its up to you but getting over the hill is the hardest thing to do and once you’ve done that you can do anything.

Made-Up Film Poster For Assignment Wilson's Reprieve

Story Telling- Wilsons Reprieve

Throughout university, we choose subjects to focus upon throughout our degrees. I chose to take storytelling in hopes it would develop and bring forward my creativity-something I felt I had lost a little after deciding against going into the production industry as I originally thought I wanted too.

In this module, we had two assignments which could be interlinked with each other, if we chose that route. Firstly, we had  to create a story treatment- for those a little lost you simply create a story but then follow guidelines such as the three act structure to sell it to an investor. I developed a story about a young female thief searching for her family honor who is still ultimately the little girl from the night everything changed for her and so, she and her father try to regain their honor while evading the law and encountering personal issues. Secondly, we had to create a presentation selling a ‘concept’- a new one or you could develop your idea from the first assignment. I chose to develop my story searching for possible acting choices, directing choices, deciding on budgets (this is all hypothetical of course). Upon, extending my idea I decided to create a possible poster for my ‘film’ and I am very proud of this work which is why I decided to share it.

Now there may be some out in the world that understand Photoshop and how to create masterpieces through simply editing. I, although a media student am new to Photoshop constantly learning new tricks. Its simple to teach yourself, Google and You Tube are tools of learning which should be used!

Made-Up Film Poster For Assignment Wilson's Reprieve
The Poster I Created For My Assignment

I am very proud of this. I had never created something on this level within Photoshop. It may seem easy but, it was quite hard as I had never tried this before. As a media student, I have found that you don’t simply just sit editing and creating constantly you also, have to learn theory and apply media to the real world and so, it is up to you as someone passionate in media to teach yourself, become the best you can be and learn new skills constantly.