Written by kdanceydowns
Media School student Alice White talks about commuting to BU and how nothing will stop her enjoying the Bournemouth social scene…
Postgraduate study is no doubt hard work. When I committed to studying at Bournemouth University my mind was initially focused on sorting out the finances, books, and deciding which colour laptop protector would best match my boots.
But then I realised that I lived 30 miles away.
It was enough of a distance to potentially be an issue – both money and time are precious when studying an MA, and I wanted to save on both whenever possible. So I was faced with a quandary; move house (expensive) or commute (time and money inefficient).
I was conscious of missing out on the social scene – after all, uni is where you make those life-long friends and future work contacts – and I wanted to be more involved than during my hermit undergraduate years.
In the end I stayed living in Salisbury, and here’s what I did to overcome the distance between uni and the place I call home…
My first idea was to combine bike and bus travel, by cycling to and from the bus stops. Quarterly bus passes cost about £250 for the Dorset/Wiltshire area – a bargain compared to fuel. One impulsive eBay purchase later I was the kind-of-proud owner of a weird little fold-up bike that would slot nicely onto any bus.
“Perfect!” I thought, “I’ll lose weight AND save money.” That dream lasted all of two seconds until I realised that the bus took the best part of two hours, and I didn’t want to have that barrier between me and an impulsive social at Dylan’s.
So I plumped for driving. I signed up on Liftshare.com and quickly found someone who was willing to endure my driving and share the costs. I was also able to stay with a friend in Bournemouth one night per week, which also cuts down on the commute and allows me some time to socialize and study.
Finally, I threw myself into student life by becoming a student rep. Not only did I join the purple army with my FREE HOODIE, but I also became more involved in campus events and the running of the course. Being a rep totally counter-acted any worries I had about distance; I now feel closer and more involved with the university and my course mates than I ever did when I lived here for my BA.
Being a peripatetic student really doesn’t have to be a disadvantage – if anything, it has focused me. Get involved as much as you can and allow yourself as much flexibility as you can afford: You’ll never feel left out, no matter how far you might have to travel.