I commute to Royal Holloway from home and I love it

It gives me time to learn the lyrics to my fave songs


I always knew I wanted to commute from home. I did the year abroad thing, I’ve done my “living away from home”, and I don’t like the idea of sharing with potentially messy people.

I currently live near Amersham in Buckinghamshire, which is 26 miles from Royal Holloway. While this means driving on the infamous M25, and can take up to an hour and half when the traffic is bad, I’ve decided it’s worth it. And here’s why.

Me and my car, Luigi

Me and my car, Luigi

I only have to be at uni for 12 hours a week

Before I started at Royal Holloway, I was concerned having to drive in to uni everyday was gonna be too much, especially if every day was an early start. However, I only have to come in three days a week.

I reckon that if I lived on campus I would feel chained to the place and would probably be bored out of my brains most of the time. But with commuting I’m able to spend my two days off during the week at my boyfriends and continue at my job on the weekends.

Then again it can be annoying when a seminar leader reschedules a seminar for a day I’m not in, meaning I’ve got to drive 52 miles altogether for one hour on campus.

Parking

Parking isn’t an issue. I get a student parking permit and between car park four on campus and car park 14 across the footbridge, there’s generally always a space to park in.

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It saves me money

The average cost for on campus accommodation at Royal Holloway is approximately £137 a week. On average, I spend about 30 quid a week on petrol, which means I’m saving over £100 a week by commuting. Not to mention the money I’m saving on food by eating with my mum.

I actually enjoy driving

My little Fiat 500 was the best thing to happen to me, so much so, I have named it Luigi. I have practically lived in it and wonder how I survived without it before. While my over-protective parents have become nervous wrecks over me having to drive on the M25 three times a week, I actually don’t mind it.

In the 10 months I’ve been driving I’ve pretty much driven all round the M25 so it’s a piece of cake. While it kills me to get up at 6am on Tuesdays and Fridays to get into uni for the dreaded 9am, the roads can be pretty picturesque at that time in the morning. Without traffic the journey takes about 45 minutes.

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Time to think

I’m studying English and Creative Writing, a course which requires a lot of thinking: thinking about that book I just read, thinking about conclusions to essays and thinking about what I want to write next.

Luckily I get about two hours to think until my heart’s content each day I commute. Also, if I ever bring myself to buy an outrageously priced audiobook, I can listen to one of my course books on the way in, which saves me time in reading. Plus, I think’s its nice to be left alone to your thoughts for a little while now and then.

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Less distractions

Obviously I can’t drink and drive, which meant I missed out quite a bit during Freshers’ Week. While I feel like I’m not getting the whole university experience, I guess it’s better for my grades in the sense that I’m not being distracted by the lure of nights out at the SU.

After taking a gap year, I feel like I’ve got the need to party all the time out of my system and now I don’t see university as the opportunity to get drunk every night. When I want to go out in Egham, I can stay with friends on campus or with family relatives that live nearby.

Commuting means more freedom, and with being away from the distractions of campus life, hopefully, my grades will be better for it. But lets just hope commuting doesn’t backfire and cause me to leave uni in three years time with no enhanced knowledge other than knowing the words off by heart to every Kanye West song.