#GirlBlog: Why commuting to uni was the best decision for me

Ive been commuting to university for two years now, and even though it is an occasional nightmare – it is the best decision Ive made. 

Everyone I’ve ever met at uni has expressed their horror when I admit out loud that, no, I don’t live in Canterbury, I commute. But the truth is that I don’t hate commuting at all. In fact, I kind of love it.

Im a fiercely independent person. I love responsibility, taking charge and generally just being in control. But Im also a very anxious and an occasionally introverted person. Thats just one of the reasons why commuting is the best decision Ive made regarding my university experience.

Although I applied well in advance, I decided to go to university at the very last minute, so accommodation was pretty much not an option for me. Luckily, living in student accommodation never interested me either. Quite frankly, living with a bunch of messy, loud and over-excitable strangers, seemed like my idea of hell. It would be fair to say that I had my mind set on commuting pretty quickly. So from day one, I got in my car and drove to Canterbury Christ Church University.

 

Its worth mentioning that Im not a confident driver at all. Im awful with directions (especially when traffic is diverted unexpectedly). However, Ive tried to get on with trains and they are often more hassle than driving. I live a 40-45 minute drive away from where I park but my entire journey can take up to an hour. I drive, park, get on the bus, walk to campus and do the whole thing in reverse after Ive finished for the day. Its not as awful as it sounds, mainly because Im so used to it.

I admit that it can be frustrating at times. There are days when my lectures are cancelled or cut short with little notice and I find myself irritated by the fact that Ive spent more time in the car than in the lecture theatre.

There are times where the petrol station seems too familiar and I worry for my financial security, but I remind myself that Im ultimately saving more money than my friends who are struggling with their accommodation bills.

There are times when I spend so long in Canterbury traffic, that I curse audibly about the fact that everyone else in my class was home an hour ago, but it was absolutely the best decision because of the type of person I am. I am also rarely enticed by clubbing so I never experience FOMO (the fear of missing out). Sure, if I was a much more outgoing person, who had the stamina to drink most weekends like my friends do, then I can see how commuting would stunt that opportunity, but Im so much happier going home for some peace and quiet once Ive finished a long session at the library or have sat through a ludicrous 3-7pm lecture.

In my first year, Id spend a lot of my time at my friends flats and wed cook dinner together, have a laugh and even sometimes actually go out. Over the past few years, Ive never worried about needing somewhere to stay in Canterbury should I need to, as I know my closest friends would take me in without any issues.

Although its the worst part of the commuting, I dont mind the actual driving at all. It gives me a chance to catch up on podcasts, new music or audiobooks during the journey that I wouldnt make time for elsewhere. My drive is the best form of me-time that I have twice a day, where I can pump myself up with a ridiculous musical performance, or relax to some softer music when the world seems like its imploding around me. Too many deadlines. Ugh.

So yes, if you ask any of my friends whether I moan about commuting they would unequivocally tell you that I have a grumble on the regular.

But, taking everything into consideration and reminding myself that this was ultimately the best choice for me financially, logically and personally – I dont regret my choice at all.

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