The Student Room Group

Should I commute next year?

Im not sure if I should commute second year or not. I'm living in uni accommodation currently and I'm considering everything but I don't know what to do. please help!! commuting would be an hour 30 one way. would I be missing out on any opportunities if I go down the commuting route
1 hour 30 is too long in my opinion but it’s your choice.
I really wouldn't recommend commuting for that length of time unless it is completely necessary, speaking as a commuter student.

Also consider- is that the true length of your full commute? It's easy to look at e.g. your train trip length and say "ok this is X amount of time, that seems reasonable". But you also need to factor in how long it takes you to get to and from the train station, if there are any additional public transit forms used which could be a liability in case of e.g. delays, cancellations, strikes, and you also need to consider the timetables - it's unlikely they will match up perfectly and even if they did you almost certainly would want to build in some buffer time in case of delays. If you're driving, you then need to factor in traffic conditions and how these vary at different times of day, and think about how you would get there if there is disruption on your route (e.g. road closures etc).

For example, on paper my train trip for my commute is 1 hour 15 minutes, which doesn't seem to bad. However, it takes me ~20-25 minutes to walk to the station from home, then once I arrive at my destination, I need to spend 5 minutes walking to get the next public transit link, 10 minutes on that, then another 10 minutes walking on the other end. Plus, the timings of things means that I realistically have to arrive on campus at least 30 minutes before my lectures, in order to avoid risking having only a couple of minutes to get somewhere and risk being late if there are any delays. It's really draining and I spend a huge amount of my week now commuting - which I only do because it's literally financially impossible for me not to where my uni is (London...).

And that's just from a practical/wellbeing perspective! That doesn't even account for that fact that due to this lead time, I'm sort of psychologically discouraged from picking option modules with early start times as I'd need to get the train around 6 then, and for modules that finish later (e.g. after 4) this time to get back combined with hitting the rush hour heading back makes that unappealing as well. Equally, it means I'm very much not keen to stay on campus into the late afternoon/evening (when many societies hold events and meetings). I also generally spend less time on campus as I spend so much of it commuting, and so spend less time getting to know the people on my course. These things are, for me, not a dealbreaker - but especially if you're going to uni for the first time (particularly as a school leaver), they are probably much bigger factors.

Additionally, you should carefully look at the costs of it. In some situations it may work out cheaper (variable depending how much you value the hours you spend commuting vs not though), but in general commuting is expensive and so the relative savings of living further away may be ameliorated by the increased costs of commuting.

It's possible (I mean I'm doing it!) but in most situations not advisable in my opinion - if you don't have specific family/caring/financial/professional obligations that necessitate it, it's probably not worthwhile.
Original post by Neymarswho1730
Im not sure if I should commute second year or not. I'm living in uni accommodation currently and I'm considering everything but I don't know what to do. please help!! commuting would be an hour 30 one way. would I be missing out on any opportunities if I go down the commuting route

Hey,

I wouldn't say you'd miss out on too much, especially since you've already done first year in accommodation and made friends etc. The only thing I would say is similar to above, is that it's a pretty long commute. You have to remember that the journey is both ways as well, so will take about 3 hours out of your day. Also, if you're late, you have very little chance of getting to your class.

However, I'm a commuting student (about an hour drive each way) and would say there are positives. For example:

saving money

being able to separate uni/personal life

treating uni more like a 9-5 job (good for time management)

being able to have a part-time job at home

having your commute time to unwind from uni


There's definitely a lot to consider, but I don't think it would be inherently awful to commute! You could always try it for like a week or something this year (if you're planning on commuting from home) and see how you like it?

Best of luck with everything!
Natalie
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by Neymarswho1730
Im not sure if I should commute second year or not. I'm living in uni accommodation currently and I'm considering everything but I don't know what to do. please help!! commuting would be an hour 30 one way. would I be missing out on any opportunities if I go down the commuting route

Hi, I'd recommend weighing up the pros and cons of commuting to come to the right decision. For example, with commuting, it may become draining and will mean that you will have to leave the house earlier to factor in commute times and it may mean you miss out on evening society events etc. The journey times may become longer and more tiring during strikes, cancellations and peak timings. However, commuting is beneficial as you will save a lot of money, means you get to spend more time with family and can carry out your readings and assignments on the commute to and from university. It also means you get to establish a better routine. Hope this helps!

Z
UG Arabic & IR
Thanks for the advice everyone, I will use this to make an informed decision :smile:
Original post by Neymarswho1730
Im not sure if I should commute second year or not. I'm living in uni accommodation currently and I'm considering everything but I don't know what to do. please help!! commuting would be an hour 30 one way. would I be missing out on any opportunities if I go down the commuting route

Hi @Neymarswho1730 ,

I just thought I'd give you my opinion on this too!

I would say that as others have said, it is a long commute. I'm not sure if this is driving or on the train but make sure you consider things like traffic or cancelled trains.

I wouldn't say you will miss out on opportunities, the only thing that is trickier are nights out. If you like going on nights out a lot, this would be harder as you need to consider getting home etc. However, if you had a friends house you could stay at then this could still be possible.

In regards to university, as long as you could still attend lectures/seminars this wouldn't affect your work and you would be able to get work done on the commute if you are going by train. You will also save money but you will have to factor in travel costs too.

Also, if you are planning on joining a society or already are a part of one then you may want to consider this too as the days that they meet may not align with the days you will already be at uni. These are just things to think about!

Hope this helps and good luck!

Lucy-SHU student ambassador
Original post by Neymarswho1730
Im not sure if I should commute second year or not. I'm living in uni accommodation currently and I'm considering everything but I don't know what to do. please help!! commuting would be an hour 30 one way. would I be missing out on any opportunities if I go down the commuting route

Do you believe it is worth the time and effort? Your train trip is 1 hour 30 minutes, which doesn't seem to bad. However, it might take 10-15 minutes to walk to the station from home, then spend 5 minutes walking to get the next public transit, 10 minutes on traveling more, then another 10-15 minutes walking to the destination. Plus, realistically after arriving on campus more 10 minutes walk to class before my lectures. To reach on time you need to leave early which means waking up like an hour ago in order to avoid risking having only a couple of minutes to get somewhere and risk being late if there are any delays.

It's really draining, takes away huge amount of your week and definitely is not very pocket friendly.
Original post by Neymarswho1730
Im not sure if I should commute second year or not. I'm living in uni accommodation currently and I'm considering everything but I don't know what to do. please help!! commuting would be an hour 30 one way. would I be missing out on any opportunities if I go down the commuting route

Hi there!
I completely understand that choosing between living on campus or commuting during your second year of college might be difficult. It's excellent that you're thinking things over thoroughly before deciding.
University housing provides a distinctive experience. Not only are your classes conveniently located, but you're also at the center of the student body. Events on campus, social meetings, and important study sessions with pals are all easily accessible to you. It's a great approach to become fully immersed in academic life and develop a strong network.
Conversely, an hour and a half of commute each way represents a considerable commitment. Less time on campus implies that you can lose out on some of those unplanned opportunities. Traveling, nevertheless, offers advantages as well. You might appreciate the comforts of your own room, have a quieter living environment, and save money on lodging.
Think about your priorities and the things that matter most to you about college life to help you make a decision. Staying in university housing may be the best option if you value mingling with people, participating in extracurricular activities, and being central to campus events.*
However, it can be an affordable and comfortable option if you value having a more independent living environment and can handle the commute.
Remember to account for your own tastes, your budget, and the academic opportunities that are most important to you. Make sure the decision you make will help you achieve your objectives and get the most out of your time at university.
I hope this is helpful and I wish you luck in making your choice!
Kind regards,
Mrunali Kalbhor,
University of Sunderland Student ambassador
(edited 2 months ago)

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