Can you still have fun as a student if you’re living at home and commuting to campus. Recent graduate – Scott Eeles – talks to us about his commute and life as a student who lives at home:
When it comes to university experience, there tends to be two options a 1st year student will choose. Whether to stay at home and travel to university or live away from home. When I was making the choice, there were several factors that came into consideration. Where do I live? How do I learn to cook? How much will it cost me to live at University? It would be deceptive to say my parents didn’t have more of a say when it came to those questions, I was captured at the time by other distractions such as gigging and socialising, and fitting time to revise around my A levels. In the end, I chose to commute and hopefully this blog will give you an account of the everyday student on the move.
Coming from Halesowen, on the outskirts of Birmingham, I grew up not being too far from Worcester. (only 45 minutes down the M5) This meant I had visited the city a few times before I decided to study at the university. There was a genuine sense of familiarity and comfort in going somewhere I had grown up with but was far enough away from home that I felt independent enough to experience university life.
A lot of students who consider travelling to university are worried about missing out on the social side of university. I was one of these students going into my first week and was immediately inundated with requests from friendly people who I met from my course whom, during fresher’s week who were more than happy for me to stay round theirs overnight. (I didn’t mind sleeping on sofas or sleeping bags). I did this so much during that first week that I jokingly referred to myself as the ‘lodger’ and my parents genuinely thought I’d unofficially moved out.
As part of being a student on the move, I mainly travelled using the trains. This was probably the most challenging part of my first few weeks as a commuting student. Most of my lectures would be a 9am start which meant I had to be up by about 6:30 and at the train station for about 7:30. After a gradual period of adjustment, I began to find it very easy to travel in by train. If the train was ever delayed or cancelled my lecturers were incredibly supportive and understanding, willing to send me lecture notes from a session I’d missed. There was the one occasion where I’d been out experiencing the university nightlife and I had a 9am lecture and was so tired I fell asleep on the train and ended up in Hereford. We live and learn by our mistakes and this for me was a sign from the travel gods that I had to be sensible and manage my time appropriately, skills that are transferable not just to life but to when I graduated and started full time employment.
If I was to give advice to a student wanting to travel to university, I would tell them to go for it! I surprised myself with the different people I met at university who I made friends with within those same couple of weeks and the support and understanding from the university was second to none. Every university experience is unique and if you have a destination in your mind the journey is the most exciting part!