The Student Room Group

Commute or no?

Is it worth commuting to a uni an hour and a bit away? Don’t want to pay for accommodation and willing to pay for train etc etc
Thanks
Original post by Anonymous
Is it worth commuting to a uni an hour and a bit away? Don’t want to pay for accommodation and willing to pay for train etc etc
Thanks

Yeah it’s worth commuting. Remember when you use the train apply for a rail card in particular a student rail card for every journey you make you get a 1/3 of your savings :smile:
Not really as any current or past student anything over an hour door to door a day and your wasting time let’s take Solent for instance from my house in Reading (about and hour and a bit including the bus into town would cost £118 a week (based on 3 full days a week in uni). Halls cost £113 a week while it’s not as a huge saving but what you gain from halls is so worth while I can’t tell you. I suspect your thinking financially here obviously though that is a saving and if your in more than 3 days obviously your saving more. I know your thinking yes but what about bills” well bills are included so that’s not a problem if you’re serious about not paying for halls then you’re paying more.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Mohammed_80
Yeah it’s worth commuting. Remember when you use the train apply for a rail card in particular a student rail card for every journey you make you get a 1/3 of your savings :smile:


If it’s off peak.
Original post by jonathanemptage
If it’s off peak.


Can be used during on peak hours too but not as much savings or quite a significant price increase.
Original post by Anonymous
Is it worth commuting to a uni an hour and a bit away? Don’t want to pay for accommodation and willing to pay for train etc etc
Thanks


Maybe. I'd really consider that the maximum commutable time where it's feasible to maintain long term, personally - especially if you are going to be going in 4 or more days a week. Consider whether commuting will actually be cheaper than staying at home - also bear in mind if you are living in your family home and applying for a maintenance loan from SFE, you will get a reduced maintenance loan as a result. So it could be between the cost of the commute and the reduced loan, you might be better off moving out to live in accommodation with the full loan. Worth doing the maths to figure out which is better.

In terms of the commute, it's worth bearing in mind also for that length of commute, especially if you're doing it regularly, it will very quickly become a draining and fatiguing aspect of your life. It's easy to underestimate this initially because as a one off that's a fairly short trip, but take it from me - when you're commuting that length of time every day it really grinds you down. To put it in perspective, it will mean every single one of your days at uni will be 2-3 hours longer than it would otherwise, due to the amount of time you are commuting. Remember also train commutes are very vulnerable to strike action and similar. There has been a lot of this recently and may be more, so think about how you will be getting there if there is a strike - will there be replacement services running, will your service run on a reduced schedule, or will it not be running at all?

Also consider how long it takes you to get to and from the train station on either side - is it really an hour and a bit or is that just the length of the train journey? If it's just the train journey, what is the full length of the commute door to door? Will you need to take other transport methods on either side - when you start "chaining" public transit into a multi-sector commute it becomes a lot more complicated very fast. If you need to get a bus to the train station for example, if you miss the bus, you may well miss your train and need to get the next one - this may cost you more money and depending how often the trains go, may make you late for whatever you're going to at the uni and no matter what will make your day a lot longer and more stressful.

Bear in mind also that commutes can easily turn into a slipper slope of skipping things. If you have only a single one hour lecture on a given day, it often feels hard to justify the cost and time of a long commute like that - are you going to be skipping those lectures if so? Once you start skipping a lecture regularly, it can be hard to force yourself to start going to it later, and also it means you will very quickly start falling behind (even if you make an effort to keep up and study the material from that lecture by yourself, you often miss key examples/remarks/etc from the lecture that might be a small one off comment but that helps contextualise a lot more of what you are studying).

Basically it's certainly possible but, definitely not a decision to make lightly and requires a lot more planning than the alternative. I wouldn't generally recommend that kind of commute for a uni student unless they can't move due to caring/family commitments, or are part-time and only need to go in once or twice a week. Also bear in mind, it will affect your social life at uni - while some of this may not matter to you (for example if you're not really big into going out in the evening and such) it will still affect other matters if for example, some of your friends from your course just want to go for an afternoon coffee and chat, but going would be the difference between having to get an off peak vs peak ticket, or missing your train or not. That is also a factor.
You miss out a lot in first year if you don’t live close. Even social events that don’t run too late can be too much hassle to attend.
Depends on what course you are on, but some classes run quite late.
A first year timetable is often light, but extra events that contribute to your education run late.

Academics comment on students who don’t put in the hours. Example a student who commutes but never turns up to a (theoretically) voluntary lunchtime meeting mid week. They feel that only turning up for lectures is good enough. It isn’t
Original post by Anonymous
Is it worth commuting to a uni an hour and a bit away? Don’t want to pay for accommodation and willing to pay for train etc etc
Thanks

Hey there Anon!
In some cases yes it is worth commuting as you can still live at home with your parents. I would say it's worth taking into consideration travel strikes and weather impact as these things may impact your journey. Do you have a backup way to get in if your train is delayed/cancelled? What if it's really snowy and you can't get in? It also becomes difficult when your lectures are spread out and you're stuck in the city for a few hours where other students would just go home. Whilst I would say a half an hour commute is worth it, perhaps think over an hour and a bit as it may seem like a good idea to you now but you might be bored of it by the end of the year. It also makes things more difficult with using university facilities as it's not just a 5 minute walk to the library. I always suggest that people try first year living away from home and then if you hate it moving back home for second year. It's a good first experience of independence for you and you might find you prefer it a lot more whereas you already have lived at home for quite some time so already know what that's going to be like. It's a good trial period for you to live on your own and have some responsibilities. If the train is an hour and a half, it would also be easy for you to go home on weekends.

Hope this helped! Let me know if you have any more questions.
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
I am a commuter to university, takes me about 20 minutes normally (can be up to an hour depending on traffic). Honestly if you are happy to stay home and it works out saving money it may be the right choice for you.
Personally in first year I experienced a little bit of FOMO but i made friends quick and slept over with them when i wanted to go on a night out, id ignore anyone saying you will miss out on the social side, it may be more effort but you don’t really miss out.

Good luck with whatever you decide
Original post by Anonymous
I am a commuter to university, takes me about 20 minutes normally (can be up to an hour depending on traffic). Honestly if you are happy to stay home and it works out saving money it may be the right choice for you.
Personally in first year I experienced a little bit of FOMO but i made friends quick and slept over with them when i wanted to go on a night out, id ignore anyone saying you will miss out on the social side, it may be more effort but you don’t really miss out.

Good luck with whatever you decide


You don't know man you weren't there.

No but seriously you do miss out if you commute stuff goes on in halls that people usually don't mention because it's normal but if you herd about it from them you totally would wish you'd been there it's only after you leave you realise how cool these (video game tournaments, movie nights, BBQ's etc) were. I'm not trying to be rude but you don't know because you weren't there.
Original post by jonathanemptage
You don't know man you weren't there.

No but seriously you do miss out if you commute stuff goes on in halls that people usually don't mention because it's normal but if you herd about it from them you totally would wish you'd been there it's only after you leave you realise how cool these (video game tournaments, movie nights, BBQ's etc) were. I'm not trying to be rude but you don't know because you weren't there.

The only thing i cut out on was the drama in halls, i was invited to pretty much all the events.
Personally it made no sense to absolutely poor my money down the drain on student accommodation, would much rather join in for the fun and social side than spend my free time listening to flatmates argue with each other.
Would be a complete waste of money, and for me it would have been a selfish decision to move out.
Original post by Anonymous
The only thing i cut out on was the drama in halls, i was invited to pretty much all the events.
Personally it made no sense to absolutely poor my money down the drain on student accommodation, would much rather join in for the fun and social side than spend my free time listening to flatmates argue with each other.
Would be a complete waste of money, and for me it would have been a selfish decision to move out.


Drama? I herd 1 argument and that was in a house (2 very drunk girls)it’s not the continual screaming match you’re imagining.
Original post by jonathanemptage
Drama? I herd 1 argument and that was in a house (2 very drunk girls)it’s not the continual screaming match you’re imagining.

You got off lucky then because for most people it is, I've experienced way more than one argument just by spending time in accommodation with friends.
There really isn’t much I've missed out on by commuting, means i can actually save my money too.
Original post by Anonymous
Is it worth commuting to a uni an hour and a bit away? Don’t want to pay for accommodation and willing to pay for train etc etc
Thanks


The hit your social life will take won't be fun and it's genuinely not worth it. Others have already noted all the points worth considering.

I was forced to commute from a different town to my university as I could not find accommodation in the city that my university is in- it was a 45 min commute and I only had to come to the university twice a week.

I rarely went lol. On top of it- the bloody train strikes made it a total nightmare anyways.

The time lost to commuting will burn you out over time- it's depressing. I used to travel 1 hour and 30 minutes to sixth form and another 1 hour and 30 minutes back every day. I hated it after a few weeks. Strikes will ruin your day. Making up at 7am for a 9am lecture will ruin your day since you can't just roll out of bed.

If you live in a small town- chances are trains will not come very often and if you miss your train, it is likely a 30 min-an hour wait for the next one.
Original post by Anonymous
Is it worth commuting to a uni an hour and a bit away? Don’t want to pay for accommodation and willing to pay for train etc etc
Thanks

Hi! I have have experiencing commuting (about an hour/hour and twenty minutes by train) and living in student accommodation near my uni, and have found there a benefits and compromises to both.

Commuting:
I was not planning on going to university after doing my A-levels; however, I ended up getting accepted at the place I study currently, after applying and then doing an interview shortly before (we did an interview, about ourselves and our approach to 'problem solving', as part of the admission process due to the nature of the degree). It was a new course that perfectly suited my desire not to have to limit the breadth of my studies, and a result I ended up deciding to go to university that year.
Because it was so close to the start of term when I made my decision, I did not have much time, nor did I feel ready, to move to London. I originally decided I would commute for the three years, as I was able to walk to the station easily and then take the London underground to almost outside of uni. It was especially convenient because the London Interdisciplinary School, where I study, is well located to different tube lines (https://www.lis.ac.uk/campus/), which gave me options - I know a fair few people who commute on my course that all use various lines, as well as cycling.

Commuting was beneficial because:
- It provided time to do uni work I hadn't done yet, or listen to music or catch up on messages
- I enjoyed the routine it provided - the time it took needed accounting for, and I was able to base my day around it, making me more aware of the time I did/not have

However, for a mixture of reasons, including the time it took to travel, not being able to stay as late at social events, and the fact I seemed to spend more time on campus than at home, I decided to move into accommodation half-way through the year.

Accommodation:
My university provide a list of accommodation options nearby to our campus on the website (https://www.lis.ac.uk/campus/accommodation/), and are very supportive in making sure students living situations are sorted.
I was able to move in within the week due to an availability, and now live a short walk from campus.

This has been beneficial in:
- Giving me back time to use for myself or to do uni work in a more comfortable environment
- Being able to make the most of more extra-curricular activities our university organises, as travelling to them does not take much time now, and going to the campus as suitable for me rather than having to decide this in advance
- Being able to go to social events without having to be as cautious of the time, which I feel massively improved my integration into the cohort and helped me develop more relationships at uni
- Having the time and flexibility to take up sports
- Not having to worry about train strikes/delays and the impact that could have on my class attendance

Of course a cost to this is that living in accommodation, especially in London, can be expensive. I make sure to budget, and have be aware of rising costs; however, living in all-bills-included accommodation provided more peace of mind with rising costs and bills.


The choice will depend on your preferences, and may even change after experiencing one and deciding to try the other, but I hope my thoughts based on my experience helps :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
Is it worth commuting to a uni an hour and a bit away? Don’t want to pay for accommodation and willing to pay for train etc etc
Thanks

Hello,

I hope you’re well. It depends on so many factors!
You should take into consideration: length of commute, price of transport, reliability of transport and how many times you’d have to commute in a week.

If you do not want to stay at student accommodation and have the right money for transport I would say to stick to commuting! Writing a pros and cons list may help :smile: try to also take into consideration that transport can be a bit unreliable in view of strikes etc

Do whatever is best for you!
Jade :smile:
Cov Uni Student Ambassador
Original post by Anonymous
Is it worth commuting to a uni an hour and a bit away? Don’t want to pay for accommodation and willing to pay for train etc etc
Thanks


Hi, I personally think it's what your willing to do, I am planning on commuting but live 35-45 mins away MAX.

I think commuting is personally fine. I think each person is different and all should be allowed to commute if they deem that's in their best interests. What's the point of living away if your going to have a bad time or stress all the time. Your mental well being is super important too! I am commuting and I know I have made the right decision for myself.

Quick Reply

Latest