Commuting To University

I am freeeee! I’ve had my last exam and it feels blimin’ wonderful. University has had its ups and downs, but I cannot wait to enter the “real world” and get to finding my little niche in it.

After being diagnosed with depression in December 2015 and taking some time away from university to focus on my mental health, I decided (with little persuasion from my parents needed) to move back home to Birmingham. At the University of Nottingham, I’d been living by myself in a studio flat, and it did get pretty lonely at times. I am a super social person and I love seeing people, and since I barely had the energy to leave my room, which contained my kitchen and toilet as well, I was kinda isolated. Apart from when some very kind souls came over to visit me.

So after taking my break from university for a few months after advice from my therapist, doctor and university welfare officer, I bundled up all of my crap from Nottingham and bought it back to my family home in Brum. Honestly, that was wonderful for my mental health and I know it’s been a large contribution to me being well now. Having my lovely parents padding around the house, and constant cuddle companions in the form of my labradoodles, Sherlock and Watson, has been invaluable.

But now I don’t have to commute to lectures in Nottingham anymore and it feels like a huge weight off my shoulders. First of all, I had to take the train because although I can now drive (as of January, wooo), my mama didn’t trust me on the motorway for a long time so wanted me to get the train.

The journey by car takes just under an hour and a half. The journey by train takes about 2 and a half hours – it used to be 3 hours long but I save time now by driving my car to my nearest train station instead of walking (little time savers mean I get extra sleep time, which is very VERY important). That means 5 hours of my day just travelling there and back from uni…

Those hours dragged so much. I did *try* to do work on the train, but there are always so many distractions. For example: lovely old people who want to talk to you about their day; annoying men trying to dodge paying for their ticket (idk why but it is always men); dogs (DOGS!!!) that need to be stroked; people playing Eastenders at maximum volume on their tablet who refuse to turn it down/off (urghhh); children screaming about how they need a poo etc. So it is pretty difficult to actually get stuff done and I mostly just ended up texting my boyfriend about all the things I saw and heard on the train rather than studying…

The other main reason that I disliked my commute was that I used to be utterly terrified of trains. I’m definitely less scared than I used to be but holy shit those beasts are so fast and they whizz past and they could just take your arm with them. For years now, I’ve also been getting train nightmares where I am trapped in the middle of lots of train tracks and I have to jump out the way of the trains and watch my friends/family get killed by them as I fail to save them. Not my fave dreams, I must say.

But on a more positive note, I no longer jump in the air when a train goes past (just like a lil flinch instead which is a lot less embarrassing) and long train journeys have become the norm. As I talked about in my post about long distance relationships here, my boyfriend usually lives in the Lake District, or sometimes London (*shudder* so many trains), and so I have to go prettttttty far on the train to go see him. But I’ve developed a nice train routine and Birmingham New Street has become an old friend since I’ve been commuting. A very shiny busy friend, but a friend non-the-less. So travelling is not that bad.

Commuting has made me a better functioning adult generally I think, so getting over my fear and the looooong wait times has been worth it, but I certainly won’t be missing the journey. See ya later Nottingham Train Station, I’m sorry but I think we should go on a break xo

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