Student Engagement Ambassador Beth gives us her insight into being a commuter student at university with some advice for you.
For some reason being a commuter student can get a bad reputation with people claiming “you won’t get a proper university experience” or that “it is simply too hard to be a commuter student.” So, here I’m outlining some of the ways you can maximise your experience as a commuter student.
There are many practical difficulties that you may face as a commuter student which other students in halls of residencies may not face, but this doesn’t have to ruin your university life!
If you are dependent on public transport there may be delays because of it (we all know how tedious it can be). My best advice here would be to warn your Academic Tutor and staff you interact with know that you are dependent on public transport and I am more than certain they will understand and it will prevent potentially awkward situations later on. If you are using our own car this advice still applies but also remember to receive a parking permit to allow you to park on campus!
Besides these issues, there may be struggles to carry around heavy textbooks or even finding study areas. There are simple solutions to this one too… I for one decided to leave my textbooks at home and borrow the libraries versions (double check the library have your textbooks on the shelf on the day you are planning to use them though) which saved my bag a lot of weight. Alternatively, there are also storage options on campus such as the lockers and you can find out more about this at the RUSU reception desk.
I am sure many people have told you that being a commuter student isn’t good because you’ll miss out on the social side of the university experience, but this certainly doesn’t have to be true! All social events at the University are usually open to anyone, whether you are in halls or commuting. So, stay updated across all platforms the University has to offer to ensure that you don’t miss out and put yourself out there as much as you can. I know this is easier said than done but I always live by ‘fake it until you make it.’
If what you are worried about being a commuter student is the fact you may miss out on valuable life lessons about how to do your washing or the cooking (perhaps you are staying at home with your parents), well this doesn’t have to be the case. I am sure whoever you are living with will be grateful if you offer to prepare a meal twice a week or do some chores. Just because you’re not in halls doesn’t mean you cannot learn these essentials.
To summarise being a commuter student really does not have to affect your university experience. The experience you get is what you make it out to be so don’t let the assumptions people have ruin your time, instead make the most of your time here.
Make sure you check out the commuter event during Welcome to meet others who will be commuting this year!
Commuter student welcome
09/22/21 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM
Commuter students; Social
Are you living at home and commuting into university? If so come to our get together and meet other commuter students starting at UoR as well as current students who can offer you some top tips on getting the most out of your university experience.