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Hi., so I live in Bolton and I have applied for law post graduate in many unis. But the only Russell group Uni I got is Liverpool. I really wanna go there because I know how important is for my career. BUT I’m also studying home so I don’t know about the travel. Because it takes 2 hours on bus from Bolton. And I’m sad now cause that’s very long and costs time and money. Is there anything to help me such as bus pass or any other route or something. Because if I’m spending about 5 hours to go to uni and come back. How I’m gonna find part time work and concentrate on my uni. So pllllease any help or advice you can give me???? any student pass or train pass etc.
Original post by Anonymous
Hi., so I live in Bolton and I have applied for law post graduate in many unis. But the only Russell group Uni I got is Liverpool. I really wanna go there because I know how important is for my career. BUT I’m also studying home so I don’t know about the travel. Because it takes 2 hours on bus from Bolton. And I’m sad now cause that’s very long and costs time and money. Is there anything to help me such as bus pass or any other route or something. Because if I’m spending about 5 hours to go to uni and come back. How I’m gonna find part time work and concentrate on my uni. So pllllease any help or advice you can give me???? any student pass or train pass etc.

Hi Anonymous!

Do you want to go to Liverpool because it offers the course that you think is the best and that excites you the most? Or because it is a Russell Group university?

Because if the latter, I would say it's worth bearing in mind that, although the RG is often perceived as being a collection of the UK's most prestigious universities, it is in essence a self-selecting association. That isn't to in any way undermine those universities in any way - I have friends at Liverpool who can attest to it being a fantastic place to study and it's certainly true that attending a RG university does mean that you'll be attending a research-led institution that has a certain level of prestige and kudos attached to it.

However, they're not the only research-led institutions in the country and, given your situation, you need to weigh up the benefits of attending a RG against the stress, cost, and inconvenience of commuting and the way in which a very long commute will impact upon both your studies and your work/social life. No amount of university prestige/kudos is going to make up for having a stressful experience or having an experience that impacts on your overall performance and grade.

If you're really committed to Liverpool, it's definitely worth asking the university (and the SU) whether they have financial support available for commuter students, or if they have negotiated any special bus/train fares. At Keele, for example, we currently have a negotiated bus fare for Keele students on the bus route that goes to/from campus. There may also be a car-sharing scheme you could look into. Even if they don't have any direct support, they should be able to point you in the direction of information on appropriate national rail/bus cards that might save you some money on your fare. There's also some good advice on Save the Student at https://www.savethestudent.org/travel/cheap-bus-travel-for-students.html and https://www.savethestudent.org/travel/5-top-tips-for-cheap-rail-travel.html.

Having commuted to/from university throughout my MA and PhD myself, it is definitely do-able (I live about an hour from Keele but it can take longer if the traffic is bad) but does require some sacrifices. If I'm on campus, I'm usually there all day (I leave at 6.30/7am to get there for about 8am, then stay on campus until about 6pm and get home 7/7.30pm) to make the most of it, and I often try to go up on days where I can take in both classes/meetings/study with some social activities such as PG coffee mornings and events. As such my week tends to be split between 'on-campus' and 'work from home' days.

There's no way around the fact that, as a long-distance commuting student, you do miss out on some things, especially optional seminars/research events and evening/weekend social activities. Ultimately, commuting - especially a longer distance - means you have to weigh up the benefits of being on campus against the cost/time of the travel. You can mitigate some of that if you build a good support network that you can check in with online, or if you have friends and family to support you at home - and lots of conferences/research events have been run in hybrid format since the pandemic. But I know from experience that you do have to work hard to make those connections and ensure you don't end up feeling isolated.

Hope that helps and that you're able to find a way to make the right choice for you work!

Amy :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)

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