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"Going my way?" Your guide to living off campus

Posted: October 01 2019

Jeffrey Oyinlola, Environmental Sciences BSc
Jeffrey Oyinlola, Environmental Sciences BSc

So, your first day at university is over. You have hopefully managed to not get lost around the building and met a few of your classmates. As you head all prepare to say goodbye, the inevitable question comes “Are you going my way?”. This question will inevitably pop up throughout your uni years, particularly if (like me) you don’t live on campus.

As everyone knows that commuting in London can sometimes feel like an impossible task, here are some hints and tips to help make your journey more of a pleasure than a chore.

1) Know your journey

Remember that transport can be tricky, and sometimes there can be delays, strikes, and cancellations. Make sure that you leave early enough to get to university on time and familiarise yourself with alternate routes in case of line closures\ severe delays.

underground train

2) Try workarounds

Sometimes it can feel like you can’t get involved in groups or events because you don’t live on campus. To get around this, check to see if the club or society you are thinking of joining does events that aren’t too late for you, and if they don’t why not suggest this to them?

3) Find a friend

Never think that you are the only student in your class, society or club that commutes. You’ll most likely find that there is someone else in the same situation as you. Having someone to travel with can make even the most difficult journeys more fun!

4) Make the most of your commute

Chances are that your commute might be a bit long and you probably won’t have a lot to do most of the time. Why not use this time to plan for class or life admin? How about finishing that book you started three years ago or finally finishing that TV show?

5) Don’t carry more than you need

One thing I have struggled with is knowing exactly what I need for the day. Of course, there are the essentials (laptop, pens, notebook, and of course phone!) but do you really need to bring your text books when you know that you will not look at them again until the evening? Always try to carry what you need, not what you want.

6) Manage your spending

For a lot of us, it’s the first time we will have been put in charge of our own finances. When your first installment of Student Finance lands into your account it can be very easy to say to your friends “Drinks are on me!” However, let’s be real - the money given is a loan to help cover other necessities, including transport. So, think of ways to help make the money last e.g. could you cycle or walk to some places? Even get a job?

So, you ask, what’s the take-home message? Commuting to and from university does not have to be a pain. Find ways to make your journey enjoyable so you can still live the uni life without it making a hole in your pocket.