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Commuting to university: advice from a graduate

More students than ever will be commuting to uni this year, due to coronavirus restrictions and the introduction of remote learning. As a former commuter student, I want to share my tips with you!

Be prepared

Some days commuting will mean you have an early start, so make sure you pack your bag the night before with all the essentials. Check your timetable and pack what you need for those modules, it can be easy to forget things and you don’t want to lug about unnecessary stuff either.

Take technology

Having a laptop small enough to carry around/ fit in my bag was so helpful. This meant I could work on the train, take my laptop into lectures or to the library and still head into town if I wanted. A portable phone charger is also a wise buy to keep in your bag – a journey without your phone can sometimes be a boring one! When you need to use travel apps or call for a lift from the station, your phone is essential!

Bring snacks

Commuting on an empty stomach is no fun, especially when you get to a lecture and can hear your stomach rumbling. Make sure you pack snacks and water; you may not want it when leaving the house but later you will be grateful! Of course, there is the SU shop or the canteen if you do need to buy something for your journey home.

Use travel apps

If you are getting the train, it is so important to check the Trainline app before you travel. Unfortunately, the trains are not always reliable, so save yourself a wasted run to the station by checking your train is still coming. If it is cancelled, you can use your time wisely by going to the library or spending time with friends. If you are driving the same applies, check Google Maps – there is no point sitting in traffic, you may as well stay on campus and make better use of the day.

Make connections

It is likely that on your course there will be other students who are also commuting. It is really helpful to know students who are in the same position and can relate to the experience.  You may even find that there are course mates doing the same commute, which can help make the journey more enjoyable. There is a UOB commuter students Facebook group where students and staff share advice and resources.

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Brighton cityCommutingindependent livingPreparing for universityTop tips

Katy Croft • 15th October 2020

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