2 November 2023

Commuting To University: Will I Miss Out?

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Congratulations, you’re going to uni! During this precious time before starting, you’re going to be making a hundred and one decisions. And trust us, there’s lots to think about, such as whether you’re commuting to university (or not). 

We’re here to tell you why commuting absolutely does NOT mean you have to miss out on university life. Many students will move into halls or private accommodation. But commuting may be the better option for a lot of other students.

So here’s a list of all the reasons why commuting could be the right choice for you.

The social side

Let’s cut to the chase, the social side of things is probably a major concern if you’re considering commuting to university. And agreed, your social life can make or break the uni experience. But trust me, flatmates are hardly your only source of friendships. 

Try to join a club or society. Attending events alongside people with a mutual interest (no matter how niche or strange) is the best formula for friend-making. And societies are just the place for that.

There are societies for everything ranging from football and dance to hummus and zombie apocalypse societies (yes, this is a real society). Rest assured, the right society is waiting for you. Plus, making friends isn’t the only benefit of joining a society…

Find fellow commuters

Most universities have groups for commuter students, so you can find others in the exact same boat as you (or rather train or coach). 

More and more students are recognising that commuting to university may be the way to go. In fact over 25% of UK undergraduates are now commuter students.

Befriending fellow commuter students will help you find social events that fit your travel schedule and who knows, maybe you could even find a uni travel buddy.

The money-savvy decision

It’s rough being a student, especially in the money department. We should’ve known it wouldn’t get any easier when Tesco meal deals became £3.40. What a rip off! 

Living at uni means money leaks out of your pockets left, right and centre. That extra Starbucks drink, that absolutely “must have” product you saw on Tiktok, those clothes on sale… All of it adds up.


There’s also the matter of rent. The average UK student pays a whopping 45% of their monthly living costs towards rent. On top of that, you still need to buy food and drinks, room decor, club tickets, Pret coffee subscriptions. You know, just all the essentials. 

Commuting to university is the money savvy decision.

You’ll save a massive chunk on rent, utilities, eating out, room essentials (you probably already have these) and more! Even with Unidays, Student Beans and all the money saving apps and hacks in the world, you won’t save as much as you would living at home.

Maintenance loan

If you’re in the position to do so, you may not even need to take out a maintenance loan which leaves you with a lot less student debt at the end of your degree. 

However, if you did want to take one out, you could always put it into a savings account and receive monthly interest instead of blowing it on rent. 

Skip the homesickness

Moving to university is definitely not for everyone and that is A-okay. 

A new environment with new people is daunting. Starting university is a huge transition in itself and staying home means it’s just that little bit easier on your mental health.

Living at home means:

  • You have a routine
  • Your space is cosy and comfy 
  • You don’t need time to adjust
  • You have your family’s support.

Lots of students struggle with homesickness once starting university and this just makes the experience so not fun. If you or a friend are struggling, here’s some advice on what to do if you’re feeling homesick during your first year.

I know it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out by commuting to university. But instead, think of everything you’re glad to leave behind: arguing about who takes out the bins, flat drama and of course the terrible, horrible, dreaded homesickness.

At the end of the day, you know yourself best and if the comfort of your home is where you need to be to thrive academically and socially, then commuting to university is best for you.

Travel tips

You’re reassured you can make friends, save your bank and wave good-bye to homesickness. But commuting to university scares you. Well, my dear friend, there’s a solution for that too. 

Book your tickets early

Depending on how far you travel, you can book anywhere from a month to a few days before your journey. Book your tickets (the earlier the better to make the most of deals), get familiar with your route, use a student railcard and leave a buffer time. That’s it, you’re all set! 

Be productive on your commute

Turning your commute into productive study sessions is a great way to stay busy. So make the most of your time on the train or coach. 

  • Go through your reading material
  • Make a start on that report
  • Or begin your internship or placement application.

Browse our 100 Best Student Employers and use your commute to apply to some you like.

Do this and I promise, you’ll be that always-has-it-together, never-stressed-out student. Who doesn’t want that?… It might be overwhelming at first. But remember, you have all year to get comfortable with your travel schedule. 

You’re completing the same journey multiple times a week. There and back. Before you know it, you’ll know your route like the homepage of your phone.

So you’ve made friends no problem, savings are through the roof, travel’s sorted and you’re feeling confident about your decision. Commuting to university is like getting the best parts from the pick n mix of uni and home life. 

  • You can stay close to your home-friends and make heaps of new ones at uni
  • You can keep your local part-time job whilst getting a degree
  • You can save a bucket-load of money and spend it on things that really matter. 

Bob’s your uncle!

University is such an individual experience. It’s about making memories, learning and becoming your own person. University is what you make it, whether you commute or not. 

So go into it with an open mind and make it the best experience!

Guest blogger: Rhea Shah

Rhea is a marketing student who is also enthusiastic about literature and creative writing. She loves to travel and has lived in 4 countries before the age of 12. Outside of writing, Rhea is currently learning how to bake and speak Japanese.