Living at home and commuting into uni

Do you already live in Sheffield or nearby? Not moving to come to uni? You won’t be alone – around a third of the students here stay at home and travel into uni each day.

Join our Facebook group Sheffield Hallam Student Commuters and meet people like you – living in or near Sheffield and about to start at Hallam. Swap tips and find out about exclusive events for stay-at-home students.

6 things I’ve learned commuting to Sheffield

I live with my parents on the outskirts of Derby. Every day I travel two hours to get to university, and another two hours to get home.

Here are six things I’ve learned from my daily commute.

1. Make friends with your coursemates

Trying to socialise when commuting can be tricky. Start with the obvious – speak to people on your course. You’re all studying the same thing, so start by talking about that. If you’re at home you can use FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype and more to chat.

2. Stay organised and use your time wisely

You'll spend a lot of time on buses or trains, just getting to and from classes. Think about how you can make that time more productive or enjoyable. For example, read your lecture notes, catch up on emails or listen to a podcast.

3. Keep an eye on your spending

Maybe you have less living costs by staying at home or away from Sheffield, but commuting can be expensive. It's tempting to grab a hot drink or snack at the train station, but it's pricey too! Get yourself some kind of railcard or bus pass.

4. Communicate with people

Speak to your tutors and friends about any support you might need, especially if you have a long or awkward commute. Lots of classes are online at the moment to keep students safe but lecturers are available to video call so be sure to keep in touch and stay in the loop.

5. Do your research

My journey is different every day, with two different trains to catch. It’s more expensive in the morning and the last train is at 8pm. How long will your commute be? Lots of companies are running temporary timetables at the moment, so be sure to check regularly. Knowing these things takes away a lot of the hassle.

6. Do something fun at the Students' Union

Look out for commuter events held by the Students’ Union. They’re doing a whole host of activities, some online and some on-campus when safe. It’s a great way to meet people outside of your course, many of whom will be commuting students too.

by Laura Burden, journalism student

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