Commuting to Uni in Sheffield

Going to uni is a strange time for everyone, and a big change whether you decide to move away to uni or stay in your home town. Deciding to stay at home and commute to university is a decision that can be looked down upon, with some people believing that it doesn’t give you the full experience of higher education. However, for some, it’s the right decision, so for any of you wondering whether commuting is right for you, we’ve spoken to some students who’ve done it…

Don’t be put off by the fact that some of your peers will already know each other through accommodation and societies etc. It can seem isolating at the beginning, feeling like everyone already knows one another but being at home for uni was convenient and cheap and it was always nice to go home at the end of the day – Lauren

I found it really helpful to be able to live and work in the same place all year round and commuting meant I could still see my old friends from school regularly as well as the new friends I’d made at uni. I was also lucky that compared to other cities, Sheffield’s buses are relatively cheap and pretty frequent so commuting within Sheffield was quite easy – Laura

Try and be organised, make sure you leave plenty of time to allow for transport delays and it’s definitely worth looking into what passes are available that work for you as they can save you lots of money over the year. Don’t worry about missing out on the student experience, while it can be tempting to just head straight home after lectures, you don’t have to, you can still go on nights out and crash at your friends’ place afterwards, and you always have the option to move out in second or third year if you want to. Finally, I’d just say don’t worry about what other people think, it’s your choice, you’re just doing uni your way – Megan

Look into what travel passes you can get, there’s monthly ones available that can be good or annual ones that could be worthwhile if you’re also using them for socialising and commuting to work when you’re not at uni. I’d also recommend using the commuting time to do something, I found myself with much more free time at home if I used the commute to book appointments, speak to family or do the recommended reading, I wouldn’t suggest trying to do written work though, that can get a bit messy – Steph

I had a really positive experience commuting, I was never very outgoing so going to uni close to home allowed me to meet new people and come out of my shell, without the daunting experience of being miles away from home in a totally new environment – Maisie

My advice would be to trust your instinct, if you think commuting would suit you best then do it, don’t be put off by people telling you won’t get the full experience. I wasn’t ready to move out at 18 and was always very shy, I knew starting uni and also moving out would be too much for me all at once. It definitely takes a bit more motivation to commute, having to get up earlier and getting home later, and you might be tempted to skip your one seminar that lasts half as long as your commute, but there’s perks too. Of course it saves you a lot of money but I also found that it was easier to study at home without distractions and it also meant I could hold down a job all year round. I was also surprised by how many other commuting students I found, there was something of a commuting community – Louisa

If you’re driving, use Centertainment park and ride as Meadowhall’s is full by 8am and parking around uni is really expensive. If you’re doing that, it’s also worth getting a monthly tram pass rather than paying daily and pack an umbrella for when the tram is late and it’s inevitably raining. A great social thing I found was to come into uni early and get food before lectures, it was a good way to discover new places to eat and socialise even if I still went home straight after lectures. Also don’t be afraid to ask to stay in someone’s accommodation after a night out, commuting doesn’t have to ruin your social life. One thing to think about is module choice and your timetable, consider whether a certain lecture or seminar would end up being the only thing you’re travelling in for that day and try and plan your timetable accordingly where possible. Finally, try and find a buddy so you’re not alone, there’s more commuting students than you think!  – Phoebe

Louisa Merrick-White

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