Sarah Clark Produced by


MSc Clinical & Developmental Neuropsychology

Sarah stands outside the create lecture theatre next to the big BU light up signs

Being a university student living at home in the local area offers a unique set of advantages and challenges that contribute to a distinctive academic journey.

Many students opt out of traditional student accommodation for various reasons, such as familial ties, pets, financial constraints, relationships, or even health considerations.

I’m a mature Masters student studying part-time due to health reasons. I live in Southampton and have an hour commute each way to BU’s Talbot Campus for my studies.

Through my MSc course at BU I realised I am autistic, and was diagnosed part way through my course. I’ve always struggled socially and struggled to make friends, but these days I’m a lot more confident and outgoing… so perhaps this makes some of the tips in this blog post more critical as I know a lot of people in the BU community and I am hugely grateful for the support I’m getting here to thrive!

I lived in halls and student accommodation when I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Southampton.

Having an hour commute each way to BU for my Masters course means I quickly had to learn to manage time and my fatigue levels a lot more efficiently. Successful students who commute to uni often strike a balance between academic commitments, part-time work, and socialising, emphasising the importance of effective time and fatigue management.

Depending on your mode of transport, journeys between home and university can sometimes be transformed into productive periods with podcasts or audiobooks – turning a mundane commute into a valuable learning opportunity.

Sarah stands in front of a piece of art

Making friends and socialising may require additional effort when not living on campus, but it’s certainly possible. Keep an eye on the SUBU events page for fun things to do. Join study groups, participate in campus extra-curricular activities, and attend social events to build a strong social network.

Join some of the clubs and societies, and/or BU Sports teams. Go on a SUBU trip – explore the local area.

I can thoroughly recommend the BU Careers Graduate Masterclasses and I’ve made great friends through attending these. However, so that your studies don’t lag behind, prioritising which campus activities to attend is essential – choose those aligned with personal and academic interests.

Establishing a routine, maintaining structure, and planning ahead are indispensable tips for success. Additionally, budgeting wisely and seeking student deals can significantly ease cost-of living financial strains.

Living at home while attending university doesn’t mean missing out; instead, it’s an opportunity to embrace a distinct university experience filled with valuable lessons and connections.

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