‘It is mentally and physically draining’ – The life of a student commuter

By Megan Gorman

The rising rents in Dublin are forcing students to endure long commutes in order to attend their desired university. Students are enduring daily round-trips to Dublin in particular. Although this lifestyle certainly has its benefits as it’s cheaper and less stressful than having to fend for yourself and you get to stay in the comforts of your home and enjoy your mum’s cooking.  

However, the journey to and from university is definitely not easy as you don’t have the luxury of being able to wake up and make it to the lecture room 15 minutes later. Organisation skills are a must, as well as ensuring you have enough free food stuffed in your bag. By the time you get to college you have been awake for four hours and there’s nothing worse then when someone complains about waking up only an hour ago.

5:00 It’s a Monday morning and the lecture isn’t until 9, yet still, you are getting up. Having to wake up four hours before the lecture isn’t ideal, and the weekly debate always starts: ‘Do I get up and go, or shall I sack it all off, stay in bed and forget about university all together…’

6:15 Make my way to the bus station and wait for my 6:30am bus that will be packed with other unfortunate students. You are praying that it doesn’t arrive late and that traffic will be on your side, which it never is.

8:00: Off the bus and make your way to college which involves a 20 minute walk or another bus.

17:00: Back on the bus home, college friends will be home in 20 minutes and you will hopefully be home in 2 hours. It’s hard to do work on the bus but it has to be done as by the time you get home you just want to sleep.

Sarah is a student in UCD. She commutes every day to college. She said: “It can be very frustrating as you know you have to leave college at a certain time to beat the heavy traffic and its so depressing when you just miss a bus so you have to wait around for an hour for another one.”

Commuting means students miss out on opportunities. While their on-campus friends enjoy a ready-made friendship network in student accommodation from freshers’ week, commuters do not benefit from this privilage and they often have to make more of an effort to forge friendships.

“The day is super long and it makes it hard to concentrate on assignments as all you want to do is rest. People don’t realise that travelling can be mentaly draining. And the worst part is that sometimes you only have one class and you have to travel for two hours for it,” Sarah added.

“If you think getting up early in the morning is the worst thing about commuting then you are wrong. Commuting to college makes life hard and you miss out on so many things. Students who commute feel left out and alone. Your social life is close to non existence as you always have to catch a bus home and you aren’t near college on the weekends so you miss out on the social gatherings.

“Missing out on drinks and the fun stuff that college is all about is hard and it makes is harder to have friendships with the people in the class.”

“Between waking up early, missing out on the fun and then the dreaded workload, it makes the commute ten times worse for students. It is mentally and physically draining.”

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