As a central London institution, we at Pearson College London appreciate that some students will want to live in student accommodation and others will prefer to commute. Commuting can be tedious and tiring at times, so here are our 4 main top tips if you're planning on commuting.
1. Use the time wisely
It's very easy to sit on a commute and stare into space, listen to a playlist, or watch Netflix. However, there are ways in which you can make better use of your time, especially if you have a long commute.
Each week, your lecturer will set you some reading to do for the module that you are working towards. Use the time on the train to complete this reading, as it's just the same as completing it during time at home where you could be relaxing and watching TV. Try to complete that reading on the train!
For most modules, some kind of coursework report will need to be submitted as part of the grade. Therefore, completing this on the commute can also save a lot of time at weekends and evenings. You might be someone that needs total silence to work well and therefore this might not work for you. However, you could plan what you might like to write by getting the titles into the document and preparing your literature for the review for example.
Exam revision is another aspect of your degree that you might like to use the train to do, whether it be writing notes or cue cards, or practicing exam-style questions. If you have a train with tables, try to get one of those seats so that you can sit with something to lean on.
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2. Plan ahead
Planning ahead is something that we all need to do when commuting, as due to weather issues, signal failures and strikes, often trains get cancelled and we have to make alternative plans to get to our desired destination.
Before you get on, check that everything is running on time and account for any delays that you expect to face as part of your journey. If there are delays, be aware of alternative routes that you may like to take in this case.
Unlike weather conditions and signal failures, strikes are often planned well in advance and you will be made aware of them (via signs at stations, online or in the news). Therefore, when you know that there is going to be a strike, it is important that you plan your journey around it, whether that is going early to make sure you're on time, or finding an alternative means of travel. If there is no way that you can get into Pearson College, see point 3 for advice.
Find a space
If you get the train most days, you will be aware of how busy the trains are. If there are two trains 10 minutes apart, but one always has seats, get on the one with seats available so that you have the option to take a seat and complete some work if needed.
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3. Know what to do if you can't get in
If you cannot get in due to public transport, the alternative option is to watch the lecture live online. All live lectures are recorded and watching the lecture online will still mark you as "attended". Emailing Student Services and your tutor to let them know that you will be late / not attending is strongly advised.
4. Get a railcard
Finally, make the most of being a student and get a 16-25 Railcard. This allows you to get 1/3 off many journeys. The Railcard costs just £30 for one year, which is not much considering how much you save. If you’re between 16 and 25, and you know you’re going to be doing a lot of travelling over the next 3 years, why not buy a 3-year Railcard instead? It costs just £70, saving you £20 on the price of three 1-year Railcards. What’s more, you can get a 3-year 16-25 Railcard right up until the day before your 24th birthday.
Photo by Nigel Tadyanehondo / Unsplash