Other than the fact that I can wake up to the comfort of my own bedroom, having my university so close to home has many other perks. The best part of being a local commuter for me is the fact that revision and exam periods are made easy for me to manage. With the Hive being open till 10pm, I can easily complete my revision notes and reading before closing time and then migrate to the library which is open 24/7 during exam time (not worrying about how long it will take me to get home). With Sainsbury’s opposite the university, Nandos and KFC right next door and plenty of restaurants just a few bus-stops away, there are always plenty of options to choose from when I feel a little peckish. Travelling a little further for deserts from Sweet or Urban Chocolatier in Mile End and Whitechapel is always nice for a short study break.
The only issue with being a local commuter however is that it can sometimes feel like you’re missing out on the ‘full university experience’. With friends living within halls, exploring a new city, forming close friendships with people they live with, having that ‘away-from-home’ independence, it sometimes feels like there’s a lot that you’re missing out on. What sometimes happens (not always) is that people who live within halls/student accommodations form friendships with those that they live with and commuters form their own groups, almost creating this little ‘divide’ which creates two completely different experiences. To avoid this, don’t limit yourself to just having friends that commute. Don’t be afraid to make friends with people who are different to you (from overseas, different courses, backgrounds etc.) that way, even if you aren’t living within halls, you can still have a good time by trying new things from both ends.
Here’s a list on how to make the most of commuting:
- Get involved! If you live closer, it’s easier to travel to the university so make sure to join different societies as you can attend regularly
- Join the Gym! As students, we get amazing resources for great prices so make the most of these opportunities while they last. If you’re not into regular exercise but enjoy one-off activities, ‘Get Active’ also provides weekly slots for different sports including basketball, football, table tennis etc. (with both male/female sessions so there is a lot to choose from!)
- Explore London! Unlike some of your new friends who may be completely unfamiliar with the city, being a local commuter means that you know a lot more so you can organise days to visit different places. That doesn’t mean that you need to know all the best places to hang out but it means that you can take it upon yourself to look-up some cool spots and really know the that city you live in. Lectures often last 1 hour with some going on to two hours… so if you finish your reading or have an idea of how you’ll manage your time over the week, the first-year is a great time to go out and socialise (read up on my blog on ‘Places to Visit’ under Travelling in London- QM Student Life to get an idea!)
- Have a place that you prefer to study in but don’t have a permanent spot! Study at different places so you can meet new faces
Best of luck with your first year!
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