Tips for commuting students

  • You're going to need more books than on-site students. Buy your books cheap. Try to slowly build up a library of books at home. You need to make your home a useful place to study in. Don't think that because you've done A-levels, you'll be ready to study at home. It's a pain in the ass sometimes.
  • Get a railcard (Young Persons Railcard) or any discount card you are eligible for. If you are married to a commuter, you might be able to get a Network Partner Card. These are useful.
  • Use your journey to read, think and write. If you are having difficulty reading, thinking, writing and working on the train/bus/etc., don't. Close the book and put it away. Better to either focus on it properly or get some rest, rather than not understanding it.
  • Save a copy of your passport photo ON YOUR COMPUTER or on a DISK/MEMORY STICK etc. This can be very useful, since you can print out a whole sheet of passport photos at a copy shop or in your university library (if they've got a colour printer) for much less than it costs to get new passport photos from a booth.
  • Earplugs are also useful even if you aren't in halls. Handy when someone brings a whole family of crying, urinating, dribbling, snot-covered children on board while you're trying hard to read the notes for the seminar that you forgot to read last night.
  • Two words: Thermos flask. Put whatever hot beverage you like inside a big one and enjoy the ride. I'm a hot chocolate man, myself.
  • Try and plan your uni social events in advance - it'll make your journeying easier.
  • Remember that driving to university can be a serious pain the butt, and that parking fines are expensive.
  • Get a big academic diary. Write down as much of the stuff you need to do, because you're bound by your travelling.
  • Explore the area around your college/uni. Know where everything is, because that makes life a lot easier.
  • Get some form of personal stereo.
  • If you're in London, work out the best method of travelling. It may be that the Tube seems convenient, but once you've gone down huge numbers of escalators, it would have been much quicker just to use the bus. Consider getting an Oyster card, since you can use them without having to have cash on you.
  • If you're a commuting student, put the numbers of all the travel enquiry lines (eg. National Rail, London Transport, bus company etc.), the complaints numbers for the same services, and some taxi numbers in your phone. It's useful.
  • Also, having a phone which can do email would be stunningly useful in many instances.

See Also