Life as a Commuting Student

Life as a commuting student can often be challenging; from the early mornings and long days, to travel delays, making friends and finding time to socialise. Here is quick guide on how you can immerse yourself into university life as a commuter, as well as the support and facilities that are available for you!

Commuter Hubs

We are really pleased to announce that this year the College have introduced four different commuter hubs around campus. These hubs are a great space for you to utilise, especially when you have breaks in between classes and want an informal space to study, take a break, and safely socialise whilst on campus. Some spaces are even open from 7am, so if you arrive early, you can grab a coffee, relax and prepare yourself for the day ahead!

To comply with social distancing measures these areas have a maximum capacity and are available on a first come, first served basis. Face coverings must be worn when moving around the buildings, unless you are exempt from doing so.

Planning your day

Time management is crucial, especially as a commuter. The last thing you want is to miss your 9am lecture because your alarm wasn’t set and you missed your hourly train. PLANNING IS ESSENTIAL! Create a timetable for your week ahead, which sets out your lecture and seminar times, dedicated study sessions, breaks, social time and even meal planning. Having a routine is key to making your year as successful as possible. If you have the battle of having to use public transport, ensure that you regularly check any travel updates and take the earlier train or bus if you can to avoid the consequences of any delays. Prepare your bag the night before, with your laptop, any books you may need, chargers and prepare your lunch in advance!

You will likely have free time in between your classes where you want to stay on top of your studies. This will save you from having to continue working when you return home. Make sure to book a study space in the library before to avoid missing out! However, if the library is fully booked, make sure to utilise the commuter hubs!

Socialising

Finding and meeting up with friends can often prove to be more of a challenge for commuting students, however, there are so many ways that you can still meet new people and arrange to see friends, even with the restrictions of the Covid environment.

It can be as simple as dropping your friends a quick message to catch up over a coffee, arrange a study session at one of the commuter hubs, or grabbing a bite to eat. The SU also host a range of exciting events for you to get involved in, both during the day and in the evening, providing you with a well-deserved break from your studies! Keep up to date with all the latest events here.

One of the best ways to meet new people and to form strong friendships is through joining a sports club or society. They have all been working so hard over the past few months to provide innovative new events and exciting ways for you to get involved in a safe and secure environment. There’s a whole range of groups you can get involved in, from football and lacrosse, to Harry Potter Society and Dance Society. Check out all the amazing clubs and societies here.

You can also become a member of the Commuting Students Collective, where they organise different activities, events and campaigns. Alternatively, you can choose to become a member of one of the other collectives: BAME, Disabled, International, LGBT+, PGR, PGT and Women. All these groups aim to represent and give a platform for underrepresented groups on campus. Find out more here.

Part-time work and volunteering!

Want to earn some extra cash or give something back to your local community? Or even just aim to enhance your CV? Part-time jobs are a great way to earn money, enhance your skills and meet new people. There are also a range of volunteering opportunities available where you can meet like-minded people and use your time productively! If you need any advice on finding part-time work or volunteering opportunities, get in contact with the Careers Service and Volunteering who are always happy to help!

Your health and wellbeing

University life can be challenging, especially in this current climate, so it is so important that you look after you physical and mental health and have a strong support network. There are always people available and happy to help you!

If you need help at any point, whether that be on an academic or personal level, the University and SU are here to help you. You can contact Student Advisory & Wellbeing at the College who can provide you with a range of advice on a variety of issues. Check out other help and support available here.

If you would like to discuss anything with our Advice Centre at the SU, including Library fines, please email them at advice@su.rhul.ac.uk, or arrange a phone or Zoom appointment. They are an independent and confidential service offering impartial advice.