My top tips and advice for commuter students

I'm a commuter student currently studying Business and Management at UCLan. This means I travel into uni whilst living at my home address. Here's my top tips and advice for other commuter students.

Whether it’s a twenty-minute train journey or an hour-long bus ride, being a commuter student carries its perks.

It’s very common to not consider this travel time in our schedule as a student, but for me, studying Business and Management means I can utilise this time fruitfully by catching up on the news or browsing through my reading list. I’m confident this time can also be spent productively listening to a podcast, exercising mindfulness (travel can be exhausting!), or planning out your timetable effectively. It perfectly sets the mood for a day spent studying in the library or listening to the dulcet tones of a tutor. 

As tempting as it may seem to want to skip home and slink back under your duvet, being a commuter student forces us to be productive - even if we’re still relaxing elsewhere like in the Student Centre or many of the social spaces dotted around campus.  

two students looking at vintage clothing

What’s more, our campus doorstep is surrounded by ‘places to be and things to do’. Preston has so much to offer. Travelling to campus can also translate into treating ourselves to a buffet of eateries - my personal favourite has to be Jaffa; catching some bargains in town; or spending some time exploring local parks with friends. 

A huge misconception is we don’t have as much independence as those living on campus. This is far from the truth as we have to navigate transport, plan in advance, manage time and not have the comforts of a warm home within proximity. So, if you ever find yourself comparing, remember you have your own battles too! Even if it’s just the pain of missing the bus.

My best tip to offer: As much as I wouldn’t like to admit, there’s been many a time I’ve forgotten my laptop charger at home or left my lunch on the kitchen counter for my cats to enjoy. Make a checklist of things to bring with you, then you’re bound to not spend the rest of the day frustrated. More importantly, embrace the escape from hecticness that the journey provides - whether it’s a twenty-minute train journey or an hour-long bus ride.

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