Travel

Commuting Both Hinders and Helps the College Experience

We would all love to be able to roll out of bed 20 minutes before our first lecture and arrive on time, but unfortunately, many of us can’t do this.

Whether you live at home to save money or could only manage to find accommodation further away from your college than you had hoped, commuting is an essential part of many college students’ lives.

I have commuted to college by bus on a daily basis over the past few months, and I have my gripes about it, but I also think there are advantages to commuting not often discussed by college-goers.

Firstly, commuting means you are required to wake up and get ready early enough to catch a bus, train, lift or whatever it may be at a specific time, something that can prove to be a challenge for morning-haters such as myself.

Even when you get ready early and arrive at your bus stop with time to spare, public transport is often unpredictable, and timetables can change without your knowledge, as happened to me at the beginning of the year.

Another issue with commuting is the distance you are from the college, the city and likely the majority of your college friends, often leaving you feeling like a bit of an outsider.

If I do want to go out and enjoy myself with my friends, I have to factor in the cost of getting a bus back into the city centre and of getting a taxi later on in the night, not to mention the difficulties of arranging a place to meet with friends who will.

Despite this, I do enjoy the routine of commuting and having a 20-minute period to listen to a podcast or continue reading a book, or just to look out the window and relax before the college day begins.

You learn so much more about your city as a commuter, as you are forced to walk around different parts of the city and, however you commute, the route you take to college exposes you to the different sights you might miss when living on-campus.

Of course, the costs of daily transport don’t nearly add up to the added costs of living close to college and having more money available for necessities such as food relieves some of the pressures that come with managing your own money.

I mentioned earlier that commuting hinders your ability to go out as much as everybody else… and maybe that’s a good thing.

The reality for those who go out all week is that they often miss half their lectures and are far too tired the next day to play catch up, and most of the night before is a blur.

So, while commuting can be unreliable, costly and overall annoying, I have grown used to it and I think its often the only choice for students who can’t afford or find somewhere closer to the city.