When you make the decision to study at university, there are so many things to consider it can make you feel incredibly daunted. Have I chosen the right university? How will I manage my money? Is this course right for me?
If you happen to be going to a university that is relatively close to home, one of those stress-inducing decisions may be whether to move into halls or whether to commute. If you are anything like me, the desire to remain at home may be competing with the societal pressure to move out and live independently for the full “student experience”, leaving you in turmoil.
As a third-year journalism student who has commuted to university for the duration of my course, I thought it may be helpful to share some advice that I have learnt along the way. These are some tips that I definitely would have benefitted from hearing as I embarked upon my journey:
1. Everyone has their own timeline
One of the most refreshing, and comforting pieces of advice I have heard – about life in general really – is that everyone has their own timeline and goes at their own pace. There can often be a pressure and competitiveness in life to have done something by a particular age or time period – and I think moving out and going to university is one of those things.
When I was about to start university, I felt the pressure to move into halls because “that’s what people my age do”, but now I’m older, although I sometimes still feel it, I have realised that there is no right or wrong way, just because it is what the majority are doing does not mean you have to follow them.
2. Enjoy your “two lives”
If you have decided to stay at home and commute to university – enjoy the two lives it allows you to live. I have always enjoyed the fact that I can immerse myself in university life while I am there, but I also have the ability to come away and enjoy a home life as well. I am a sociable and love to be surrounded by people, but I also like my own time to step back and enjoy my own company and familiar surroundings. I like that commuting gives you the best of both worlds, and the option to return for social events as and when you are want to or are able to. You can still enjoy just as much independence when commuting as you can by moving out – it’s just a little bit different.
3. Chat to people
If you are a commuter, it is a given that you will find yourself with less automatic social opportunities, than if you moved into halls, but it does not mean that you cannot still participate.
If it’s your thing, freshers’ events and other socials are just as open to you as other students, and I have often found that by chatting to people on your course and around campus, you find that there is an awful lot of people in the same, or similar position. I can almost guarantee that once you get chatting to people, you’ll find you are not alone.
4. Just be yourself
Ultimately, there are pros and cons to commuting, just as there are any living situation. So, it is important that you are true to yourself and do whatever makes you the happiest and most comfortable.
So, regardless of the reason, if you have decided that commuting is the best option for you, own it, and enjoy your unique university experience!
My name is Kathryn Austin, and I am in my third year of studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford. I have always had a strong passion for writing and am hoping to enter into a career within the Journalism or Publishing industry. In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and friends, enjoy travelling and reading, as well as having keen interests in film, fashion, history, and current affairs.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/kathrynaustin_
Note: 'Student Blog' articles highlight the student perspective on issues relating to ProtectED. Consequently, this article reflects the views of the author and not ProtectED.