Grab yourself a cuppa and some snacks because this is a loooong one!
Now I’m fully aware that this post is coming a bit late, seeing as everyone is already moving or going to university however I believe it’s quite a controversial subject.
If you didn’t know, I graduated this year and I commuted for two out of the three years of my course duration.
Everybody thinks the worst when it comes to commuting: FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out), however I can assure you that in my experience, this wasn’t the case!
I studied journalism at Nottingham Trent University. For the first year I stayed in halls (Gill Street, if you can relate!) which I can’t recommend enough. I whole-heartedly suggest that every new student stays in halls for their first year as it’s the biggest gateway to make new friends. Of course, you’re going to meet friends on your course too, but your flatmates are the people you will be waking up to everyday.
Not going to lie, living in halls is hella expensive sometimes (this all depends on the quality of your accommodation and it’s location) so getting a part-time job is highly recommended!
During the last few months of my first year at university, I moved in with my boyfriend and took the plunge to commute to university for the next two years.
There are pros and cons when it comes to commuting anywhere, not just university! But I thought I’d give you my experience so it can give you some insight.
My second year of university was pretty easy. I was only in three days a week and most of my lectures started after 9am *yay*. Third year, however, I was in a dreaded FIVE DAYS A WEEK! 😣
I live in Peterborough and I decided to commute by driving, which took me anywhere between 1-2 hours depending on what the traffic was like.
The first thing I had to think about was money. How was I going to afford petrol? What if my car breaks down? Now this my lovelys, is where that beautiful thing called a student loan comes in.
I devoted every penny of my student loan (around £3,300 for the year) to petrol and I’m the sort of person who likes to splurge a lot so I’m not going to lie, this was pretty difficult but I made my bed, so I had to lay in it.
I really enjoy driving, so the commute in the morning wasn’t too bad for me personally however I always thought in the back of my mind “If I was on a train, I could get SO much work done right now.”
The only issue for me with catching the train was the price – it worked out much cheaper for me to drive than getting the train daily (I was in 5 days a week in my third year).
I generally got to uni about 30-45 minutes before my lectures started which was handy as I had time to get myself a much needed coffee.
If you’re thinking about commuting to Nottingham Trent by car there are a few free park & ride car parks and if you get yourself a student Mango travel card, you’ll only pay £1 for each trip you make on the tram – very handy when the weather is pants!
This is a bonus as some of the car parks in Nottingham can cost you an arm and a leg (I paid £19.50 for 6 hours before!!!!). The only downfall to the park & ride car parks is that they can fill up quite quickly, so you’ll need to get there before around 10.30am if you want a space.
Now for the important part – money. I saved myself A LOT of money because I was able to work 2 part time jobs whilst I was back home – I even managed to buy myself a new car as well as pay for a mortgage!
I don’t feel like I missed out on nights out at university either, which I think is quite an important part in your experience at university. I had the BEST bunch of friends at uni who would always put me up for the night if I had an early exam or if I just wanted to go out for the evening and for that, I’ll be forever grateful!
I hope this has helped you if you’re thinking about commuting. Obviously not everyone is going to have the same experience but for me, I never felt like I missed out! Albeit, I was very tired a lot of the time but I graduated with a 2:1 and a gold standard diploma and I still made some friends for life!
Hope you enjoyed guys, let me know your thoughts on commuting to university or if you’ve commuted yourself!
Mwah! Lucy x