Living in London vs Commuting

It’s a decision everyone has to face, do you move out of home and move in with people you’ve never met before, or do you stay in your comfort zone at home, but fear missing out?

Who better to advise you than our degree apprentice’s themselves. This year’s intake is split between commuters and those living in London, so here’s an insight into what they do and why:

Katherine’s Student Halls Experience

Pearson College London do not have their own Halls of Residence, but they have a few recommended private student halls. Living in private student halls means that you are able to meet students from all different universities from across London. My currently flat mates are from UCL, University of Law and Queen Mary, but I have met people from all over. The halls also host social events from movie nights to pizza and drinks to pancake nights, which are all good fun (plus free food and drink - what's not to like about that?)

However, living in student accommodation does have a some downsides - students are noisy creatures - especially at night, when you're trying to sleep. This was only bad during freshers' week though - so it’s likely you’ll be out making the noise too! If not, I’d recommend investing in some earplugs to block out the racket. It also depends on who you live with - you may hear stories about people who do not get along with their flatmates, but I have not experienced this thus far. Top tips here? Be friendly and sociable, but not too loud and you’ll be fine. Another advantage of living in halls is that you are closer to the university, especially if ‘home’ is 2 hours away!

In essence, living in halls means that you have more freedom, you’ll become independent, and learn to effectively manage your own time. Also, living in London is great fun, and there’s always things going on, so you’ll never be bored!

Olivia’s Commuting Experience
Commuting from: Luton

There were many factors that influenced my decision to commute, the first being the cost - if I lived in London it would take a large proportion of my monthly salary leaving me with very little to spend and none to save. I live close to the train station and so the journey is very convenient and easy. Finally, the most important and biggest factor in my decision to commute is my dog, Lola; I couldn’t live without my little princess!

I like commuting because it gives me two hours each day where I can do whatever I need to, I can do uni work, I can listen to music, sleep, read. It’s an opportunity to get things done with little to no distractions, and luckily for me I am almost guaranteed a seat as my stop is only the 5th on the line.

Will’s Student Halls Experience

I am currently living in a really nice residence of about 300 other students. For me the choice was easy, a 2h30 commute every morning just wasn’t going to happen! Student halls are what make university.

Now, unless each of your family members were born in different continents, the biggest difference to home will be the vast quantity of cultures in your building. So, if trying different food drink is your thing then you’ll love it; you’ve not been out until you pre-drink with Japanese Sake… But, the point is that whatever kind of person you are there’s someone who you’ll definitely get on with. Pool tables and consoles downstairs maintain a constant buzzing atmosphere balanced out by the people knuckling down in the study rooms, which is probably where you should be as you start the 6th game of Fifa. The idea here is that you’re never short of something to do or someone to talk to.

There are some limitations, the biggest being the cost. It’s no secret that student accommodation across London has a price tag that brings a tear to the eye. But, is the price tag worth not-commuting? I would say YES. Student halls are the fun, let-loose part of uni. It generally makes life as a student that little bit more relaxed and exciting and, let’s be honest,how else are we going to get through a degree?

Finlay’s Commuting and Student Halls Experience
Commuting From: Essex and private Renting (London)

Commuting is great, because for me, it’s relatively easy to do. It doesn’t cost much, and doesn’t take long. It also is a prime opportunity for me to watch lectures/read around the topics in the course, as there’s usually not a better way to spend the hour or so I’m stuck on a train. Having also experienced living in London, I’d say that it’s not for everyone. If you live near London, like I do, then it doesn’t always make financial sense to live in London. I realised that I was spending a lot of money to only spend 3 or 4 nights a week in my apartment, due to having to travel for DJ work. I’d say there’s no right or wrong answer for commuting or living in halls, but it’s worth seriously considering the following:
-Whether it’s financially viable/sensible
-Whether you can live away from home for extended periods of time
-How long you’re going to need/want accommodation for.

Having said that, living in London is fantastic, and I’d thoroughly recommend everyone to experience it at some point. There’s a lot going on in the city, and it’s good fun to be able to go to work and university related functions and not have to worry about what time last trains are departing. It’s expensive, and sometimes stressful with public transport, but a great experience to have nonetheless.