Five tips for students who live at home

If you have a great university close by, you might be thinking about staying at home and commuting rather than moving away. Current Criminology student Shelby travels to BCU by car and train. Here she shares her top tips of making the most of student life.

1) Podcasts are a life saver

If you have a long commute or if you drive all or part of the way, podcasts are the best way to make more of your journey. There are lots of podcasts out there on a range of different subjects so you can listen to entertaining ones, podcasts related to your subject or learn something completely new. I really enjoy listening to podcasts because it doesn't stop me from doing other things. I can listen to them while I drive and still check my phone while I'm on the train.

2) Travel light

Travel light whenever possible! You don't want to be carrying around heavy bags all day, especially if you're going out with friends after uni. E-books and online books are a good way to keep your baggage to a minimum and if you do have to bring lots of stuff to uni then ask a friend who lives in halls to stash your bags - hopefully, they'll say yes! 

3) Join a society

When you get to uni and receive your timetable, you might find that you're not in every day or you're just at uni for a couple of hours, which can make it a bit more challenging to meet people if you go home straight after your lectures. Making friends is a lot easier if you join a society. It means you can meet people who share your interests and also gives you something to do at uni after your lectures finish. If you've got the time, joining one or two societies is the best way to get the most out of uni. Below are some of the societies available to students at BCU:

4) Bring snacks to save cash

Spending days at uni in a city where there's so much good food around takes a lot of discipline. It's tempting to spend money on food even if you shop at the cheap places and uni cafes, so give yourself a snack budget. Go shopping for things you can take to uni throughout the week as this will save you money in the long run. It's okay to eat out from time to time (and there are plenty of places to do that in Birmingham) but doing it every day will really cut into your finances. 

5) Don't go straight home after lectures

Like I said earlier about societies, spending more time at uni is key to getting the best experience. See what careers events are happening on campus. Go to all the society meetings. Volunteer. If you haven't already got a job try and get one in the city that fits around your uni schedule; there are lots of part-time opportunities in Birmingham. Whatever you do, take advantage of everything the uni has to offer.

Bonus tip - Get a 16-25 railcard

If you take the train to uni you can save a third on off-peak tickets!

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