Student halls aren’t for everyone, and one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when it comes to university is choosing between the “full” student experience and a quiet life at home.
For some, it’ll be a no-brainer to stay at home – you’ll save money, have loads of interruption-free study time, plus close proximity to your friends and family.
However, before making your final decision about whether to live at home, it’s important to take everything into account to decide whether commuting to university is right for you.
Is commuting to university a good idea?
For some students it’s a great idea.
There are loads of reasons you might want to commute to university – for example, you might have responsibilities at home or only have a few hours of lectures a week. If this is you, there’s no doubt about it that commuting to university could have a positive impact on both your studies and bank account – although it’s worth considering your transport or car’s running costs, such as tax, MOT and car insurance before mentally spending all your savings!
However, the one area that might suffer for living at home is your social life – after all, you’re not necessarily going to want to go for a quick drink after a lecture or a late night study session if you know you’ve got a long commute home. So if you’re primary reason for going to uni is to build your social circle, living at home might not be the easiest way to do it.
That said, if you do decide to live at home and commute to uni, there are loads of easy ways to immerse yourself into university life without having to live in halls…
Top tips for student commuters
It’s not always easy being the commuter in class, and not being right in the middle of the action can sometimes mean missing out on socialising opportunities. Here are 6 easy ways you can get involved at university while commuting:
1. Join a society
Joining a university society is one of the best things you can do while completing your degree – especially as a student commuter. Meeting like-minded people with similar interests is an ideal way to socially integrate, and you may even find other students who are in the same boat as you. Societies are also great for trying something new, enhancing your CV and - most importantly - having fun!
2. Get to know your course mates
This may seem obvious, but simply introducing yourself to people in your lectures, seminars and workshops is one of the easiest ways to make friends at university at the earliest possible stage. It’s easy to forget that everyone is in the same position, having been thrown into a completely new situation with a group of people they’ve never met. So saying hello to the person you’re sat next to in your first class will provide a huge sense of relief – for you and for them! Equally, there’s no pressure to come up with a good opener as you already know you have at least one big thing in common – your choice of course!
3. Join a student car share scheme
Many universities across the country are trying to decrease their carbon footprint by encouraging students to car share or partake in ‘take-a-mate’ schemes when travelling to uni each day. Not only is it better for the environment, but it could work out cheaper for students looking to save a few pennies on petrol. It’s ALSO a great way to find a friend to keep you company on that long commute to class.
4. Schedule group study sessions
Once you’ve made friends with the people on your course, make a conscious effort to keep one night a week free to arrange group study sessions. You could meet in the library or suggest having the study session at theirs - you may find that you get on well with their flatmates, too! Spending time with your peers outside of class provides the opportunity to get to know them better, as well as breaking up the monotony of studying alone.
5. Impart your local wisdom
If your decision to commute to university is due to already living in your university town, a great way to make friends is by letting people know the best places to go. From the best bars to local gigs and places to eat, you’ll probably find that people moving to a new place will appreciate a good recommendation – and might even end up inviting you along!
6. Get involved with university events
Getting to know people on a more personal basis is a great way to make long-lasting friendships and build a sense of community when you’re on campus. Whether it’s the Freshers’ Fair, a pub quiz or just a standard night out, it’s good to get involved with any social events that are happening outside of your university lectures. Even with many universities having proposed moving freshers’ events online in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, there will still be loads of virtual activities you can get involved in.
Are you covered for your commute to uni?
If you decide that living at home is the best option for you, it’s important to make sure your car is protected for the commute to uni. Endsleigh’s student car insurance provides a range of benefits, including RAC breakdown cover at discounted student rates!
Another great way for young drivers to make savings on your car insurance is with black box car insurance, as a good driving score could help towards getting you a great renewal price!
- Top tips for commuter students
- Your Guide to Living at Home During Uni
- Should I take my car to uni?
- Your Socially-Distanced Student Guide