Trains, Trains and Trains – Commuting to University

Image @Scotrail

Scotrail, for all the stick they get, manage to get me to university on time over 95% of the time.

Commuting to university isn’t the popular choice among students, and for many it simply isn’t possible. For those of us with the choice, we are often confronted with questions of why we haven’t left home, how it feels to still be with parents and if it puts constraints on the overall experience of being at university.

Admittedly, most students live on or near campus when at University, it means you can generally be more involved in the student lifestyle and you aren’t always thinking about catching the next train home. That’s a given. However, you would hope that on these occasions you could make arrangements. Beyond the night’s out however, there are practically no limitations on the student experience by commuting.

Therefore, I’d be open to arguing that the student experience isn’t ruined the way some may think by commuting – and it actually has some benefits.

Edinburgh Waverley

For me personally, my commute starts at home – just outside the east end of Glasgow in a town called Coatbridge. For a 9:00 start, I am awake at 5:45, catching the train at 6:50, arriving in Edinburgh for 7:45, arriving on main campus around 8:00 and catching the university shuttle bus out to King’s Buildings at 8:15, and arriving in plenty of time for that 9:00 start.

Normally when you tell friends about this routine you get the classic:

I don’t know how you do it!

– Surprised Friend

The 80-mile (130km) round trip every day actually provides an hour each on the journey to and the journey from university – which is actually prime time to do some work, reading or relaxing while the train whizzes across the country. If you make use of the time – then it can be incredibly productive.

I would also argue that the commute provides access to study at the university for those who simply could not afford to live in the heart of capital city.

Then, at the end of a long day at university, you get the satisfaction of that slight comfort of going back home – proper home.

So to sum up my general ramblings about trains, I think commuting to university is an option for those with the choice – and I would personally argue that there is plenty of advantages. It should not be written off by those worried that they will miss out on the full student experience as a result.

I’ve personally been pretty impressed on the most part with Scotrail’s performance since starting my MSc in September – and long may it continue until August. I can only hope.

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