My first year was undoubtedly exhausting especially travelling to Worcester from Gloucester. It is indeed only an hour journey to Foregate , but considering 6am alarms plus porridge bowls in mum’s car, this results in one tired student for the morning lecture. Not forgetting the journey back home, commuting four times a week equals 8 hours travelling.
The financial benefits are extraordinary with one cheerful bank balance, however, is travelling to the best three years of your life with huge sacrifice so much an opportunity? … was commuting worth the hassle?
For all those students who don’t live 10-20 minutes around Woo, commuting can be an option to save money for the future, but at the same time, it is worth evaluating the option of living in halls or in a private property.
In my first year, commuting was the best solution as financially I was not able to support myself for rent or food, not even mentioning social life.
So buying a £12 peak or a £8.50 off-peak ticket wasn’t a bad idea, as the morning rush hour was non-existent; very fortunate compared to the Brum rush!
Grabbing a pumpkin spice latte in the colder months is another perk to train commuting, and with the table seats, working on my economics assignment whilst listening to Bombay Bicycle Club was just perfect.
Initially, this was somewhat relaxing, but a few weeks into the semester, the sickness bug kicked in, plus shorter days meant that travelling became a burden with no-social life to accredit for.
My main goal in my first year was to understand business management whilst getting a grasp of computing, which is harder than it looks, trust me. At the Business School; lectures aren’t just engaging but want to learn about you, I haven’t experienced this attention since the Yr7 days with baggy jumpers and that sixth broken lunchbox of term.
I limped through first year; travelling consumed my day, and with a part-time job requesting my “shoe-selling expertise” weekdays, the pressure to finish assignments was difficult.
The only benefit I saw from commuting was an increased bank balance plus timekeeping skills which is essential to the “uni-lifestyle” actually.
But this “lifestyle” never existed during first year, waiting for the 17:03 train to Bristol Temple Meads was more important than drinking with friends at the local Weatherspoon’s. My uni life translated into lectures or tutor meetings.
It came to a point where I had to evaluate the pros of commuting (saving money, easily-accessible travel, better timekeeping and relaxing mood) against the cons of commuting (sacrificing grades, lack of social life, tiredness, limited time for assignments, possible delays to travel and exhaustion at home).
All this influenced me to rent for my remaining years at university. With the money I saved, I can now financially support myself for a while and with student finance support, I can pack more into my university experience.
My advice for everyone coming to university: be mindful for money but embrace the opportunities at the University of Worcester, otherwise you may regret it.