Written by Thia Gayle
When you picture the typical university experience, the first thing that comes to mind is living away from your parents, constant partying and drinking, waking up at 2pm in the afternoon and regularly eating takeaways for dinner. University is the place where students gain newfound freedom and independence which is why living away from home is an attractive option for a vast majority of students planning to attend University. However, most students rule out the idea of living at home and commuting to University because so much negativity is attached to commuting. It is assumed commuter students miss out on the freedom; find it difficult to get involved in the social aspect of university life and have the disadvantage of living with their family. But speaking as a student who commuted to University throughout the three years, I can assure you this is not always the case. I found commuting brought many advantages to my university experience:
Saves Money: By staying at home for University, you save an awful lot of money which you otherwise would have spent on living expenses had you moved away from home.
Gain Financial Freedom: As you would have saved a considerable amount of money, you have the freedom to pursue personal interests such as eating in your favourite restaurants, shopping and partying as much as you want without having to worry too much about how much you’re spending.
Family Support: University isn’t always easy for us at times. We may get stressed about studying or feel down and lonely because we are finding it difficult to form new friendships and sometimes we just need our family to comfort us during the tough times. On days when you feel low about university life, you have your family around you to offer the support you need.
Avoid Housemate Drama: As you live at home, you get to avoid any conflicts that arise in shared student living such as arguments about cleanliness and incidences of having food stolen. There is nothing more awkward than living with housemates you can’t stand!
Convenience: If you’re lucky enough to get an empty seat on the packed bus or train, you can use the time to catch up on studying or reading the newspaper.
Best Of Both Worlds: You get the best of being a student at University and living at home. You can make the most of university life by participating in a number of student societies, attending social events run by the Student Union and hanging around with your university friends whilst also saving money, living with family and spending time with friends from school and college. What more could you wish for?
Minimal Distractions: You have the benefit of studying in your room with minimal distractions which makes it easier to focus on your studies. Whereas if you had lived away from home, there is a chance you may be living with noisy housemates and may find yourself struggling to concentrate on your studies.
Explore New Areas: During the commute, you may be introduced to different parts of the city which you hadn’t been exposed to before you started commuting. You may grow to love this new city and find it has good job and volunteering opportunities and is an ideal place for socialising with friends and family.
Gain Appreciation: As you had made an extra effort to travel to University, it makes you more willing to make the most of the opportunities offered to you at University. You think to yourself well I didn’t make that two hour journey for nothing so I might as well make the effort to get involved in university life as much as I possibly can.
Don’t let people’s negative perceptions of commuting put you off. By commuting, you save money, get the best of both worlds, study in peace and have family support. You will find commuting to University isn’t such a bad idea after all!