Life as a commuter student

While many new students are packing their lives into a car ready to move into student accommodation many others will not be making the move for a variety of reasons and will commute in every day after a full year of commuting to university here are my thoughts and tips;

1 – Early mornings

For this one, you need to be realistic especially in winter the earlier mornings can be terrible. Make sure you know more than on option to get to university as delays and cancellations will happen and if you don’t have a back up you can waste a lot of time. Make sure you know exactly how long the journey takes for me it can be anything up to 90 minutes unless there are major delays, so I know for a 9am lecture I need to be out of the house before 7:30 if you don’t plan you may be late but more importantly you might overestimate and lose precious time to sleep!

2- Be prepared for spare time

When you receive your timetable you may find you have a few hours from one thing to the next but unlike those who move to university it is unlikely to be worth going home to go back later so make sure you have something to fill that time with or it will drag some recommendations id have –

Bring a book – if you enjoy reading this will be a great time to do so.

Go to the library and get ahead on assignments – it may seem boring at the time while you’re getting use to life as a university student, but you will be grateful later while you’re not a few days from deadline with nothing do.

Volunteer- Many student unions offer volunteering programs with can not only gain you new skills but can be great on the cv so if you have a lot of time this could be something to look into.

Develop skills – Many university also offer free or very cheap skills development and training course so if there’s things you want to work on this could be the time to do it.

Meet up with friends – this could be a great time to meet up with friends and try that new café , restaurants or see that film you’ve been talking about.


3 – Bring your own food

Buying food out is fine sometimes but I would really recommend bringing food with you as much as possible as the costs soon add up. My university has microwave and kettle facilities for students which opens what you can bring so this is worth looking into if your university does the same.

While on this topic bring a refillable water bottle and travel mug with you as your university should have places to fill up your water bottle and a lot of places are now offering discounts on hot drinks with refillable mugs saving you a bit of money and helping the environment so a win-win.


4 – Make the most of the events

First food Many events at university have free food from dominos often handing out pizza at freebies fairs to buffets at other things it’s a way to save money if you’ve not packed lunch that day and especially in freshers’ week’s lots of other companies tend to hand out vouchers for free things

Secondly, if they fall into a gap in your timetable they can be a fantastic way to kill time. Then depending on the event, it can also be a way to network with people and gain contacts in the field you eventually want to work in.

5 – Social

Commuting can make it harder to settle into university and make friends as you must be careful of when your last train is when agreeing to do things and you’re not going to be in student accommodation to meet people. My advice would be put yourself out there join society’s or teams your interested in to meet like minded people, join online groups for commuter students if your university has them and maybe even look into applying for jobs at your university which if your wanting part time work is a great way to do it as their much more understanding on timetable changes and be flexible around deadlines etc.


Thank you for reading