I know today isn’t a normal day for blogging but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend my university classes. This was because of the terrible wind that’s currently battering Scotland and it would’ve been far too dangerous to attempt to drive across the moors to the city. So I thought I would stay at home, do some studying and write a quick blog post about what it’s like to commute to university every day.
When you get accepted to university in the UK, you have two choices. Either move out of your family home and into student accommodation on campus at the uni, or stay at home. I live in a town that is around a 2 hour commute away from Glasgow, where my university is based. It would have made a lot of sense to move into accommodation however I made the decision to stay at home instead. To me, it seemed like an easier life. I could stay in my own bedroom, surrounded by all of my own things, with the safety and security that my things wouldn’t be touched or taken by anyone else. I have my parents, who are there when I’m sick or who can take turns doing the laundry or making meals.
Three years down the line, I’ve realised that this was not the best decision. Here are just some of the reasons that I hate having to travel to and from university every day:
If I have a 9am class at university, the very latest that I can roll out of bed in the morning is the leisurely 5:30am. Most mornings, my alarm goes off at 5am but I give myself some time to adjust to how ridiculously early it is before getting up. Now I’m a morning person anyway, but there’s got to be a limit to that. When I have action-packed days with lots of classes one after the other, I find myself getting tired and losing concentration in class. So I can get enough sleep I find myself crawling into bed at 8pm which does *wonders* for my social life.
I’m not lucky enough to own my own car, so the only other solution for travelling the 50 miles to university is using the local public transport. The UK may well be a european country however it certainly does not follow Europe’s reputation for well-organised public transport. Scottish trains and buses rarely run on time and are cancelled very easily with very little warning. They’re also not always the most modern of contraptions, and they are a sure-fire way to catch whatever cold or virus that is floating around in the air.
In my second year I travelled to and from university every single day. That’s 2 hours there, and 2 hours back. 4 hours a day. 5 days a week. I spent the best part of 20 hours sitting on a bus trundling backwards and forwards from my hometown to the city. I can’t help but think of all the other things that I could’ve spent my time doing that year, anything from having extra sleep or socialising to using those 20 hours to have a part-time job.
My fear of missing out anxiety has reached an all-time high since getting to university. While all my friends that lived in student accommodation only had to go to the flat next door to get involved in whatever social event that was happening, I always need at least an afternoon’s notice. It’s definitely not the best for planning spontaneous get-togethers, and even more annoyingly my last bus at midnight means that I often have to leave early. Making friends that let me bunk on their sofa overnight has been a lifesaver.
Weather Conditions & Traffic
… and finally we have my problem today. I’m not ill, I’m perfectly ready and able to be sitting in classes doing my university work but due to dangerous weather forecasts and unreliable buses I’ve been forced to stay at home. And it’s not just the weather that can hold me up, I have been late so many times because of unusual traffic levels that just aren’t my fault. There’s nothing worse than sitting over half an hour away from my destination, frantically writing emails on my phone begging my tutors to understand that I am trying to come to class.
With hindsight, I know I should have moved to university. There are plenty of positives to staying at home, and of course there are many negatives to moving away as well. But at the end of the day I will move out of my family home eventually, so I would recommend doing it sooner rather than later.
Do you live at home or did you move into student accommodation?
What are your positives / negatives?