Lifestyle

Thinking of commuting to University? Here’s a few things you should know…

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Choosing to go to a university in your home county can lead to quite the dilemma- should you move there or commute from home? Well…I’ve done both.

As an undergraduate I spent my first year in student halls with nine other roommates and my second year in New Mexico studying abroad living in private university housing with three other roommates. Then there was third year, which I spent in a one-bedroom apartment in the city with zero roommates. The last year was the best.

When it came to apply for my Masters I thought long and hard about what would be the best option. Knowing that at 25 years old I couldn’t bear living in student digs again it was a case of finding a studio/one bed, which would be around £600 per calendar month, or commute with a travel card at £76.50 per calendar month on a 40min train journey each way; it became apparent that the latter option made the most sense financially.

That being said, there were a few things that I wish I’d have known in advance.

  1. Socialising: While it seems obvious now, I wish I’d have known how much I would miss out on by not living in Sheffield. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve turned down drinks with friends because they weren’t meeting until 7 yet my once-an-hour train wasn’t reliable enough to get me home.
  2. Time management: When you can’t just walk to the library on Sunday morning because you forgot to pick up a reading you need for the next day on Friday, you need to learn to plan ahead. I’m talking Prison Break levels of precision– factoring in the 80 minutes of travel time each day as reading time, and trying to figure out if packing a lunch to save money is more time efficient than studying in Interval while you wait for your vegan enchilada.
  3. Long Days: When your public transport isn’t as reliable as promised, you quickly learn to get an earlier train than needed which adds another hour onto an already long day, making each week exhausting. On the plus side though, there’s always a computer free at 8:30am to get some work done!

All things considered, I’m glad I decided to commute from home. Having dealt with nightmare landlords and rowdy roommates in the past, coming back to a cosy home with my mother and my dog makes everything else worth it. To anyone considering commuting next semester or next year: ‘give it a go’ you might just learn some important life skills and save some cash along the way.

Words by: Shelby Storey

Edited by: Sarah-Louise Kelsey

Sarah is your lifestyle editor.

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