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Life as a Commuter Student During the Pandemic

After living at home whilst on placement at IBM, I decided that I would stay at home for my final year instead of moving back to Fallowfield to save some money and knowing I wouldn’t be able to have the full student experience I have had in previous years due to COVID-19.

I was unable to be on campus as much as I wanted this year due to a pandemic like many other students, so I thought I would write a few words on my experience.

I live in Greater Manchester which means I am only a 30-minute train ride to Manchester Oxford Road. I decided to start going to AMBS in October time for a change in scenery and to pick up some library books. The commute most days was really quiet which you can expect as many people won’t travelling to work and going into the office. This meant there was never a long queue for Starbucks so I would always treat myself to a Vanilla Iced Latte to get me ready to study after an early start.

At AMBS there are multiple sanitising stations, and all desks are spaced out to maintain social distancing which made me feel extremely safe and protected during my visits. It started to get busier in December as the exam period came closer, but students are required to wear masks at all times and luckily there is a vast number of desks at Eddie Davies Library which means I was always able to find a space to work in. I am a lot more productive when I visit the library, so I found I was really grateful to have a little bit of normality in my routine as the library stayed open in the run-up to Christmas break. Hopefully, lockdown restrictions will ease soon so I’ll be able to go back to AMBS and see some familiar faces.

There is a commuter student community that sent out newsletters with different online events that are happening such as coffee catch-ups, games nights and quizzes which are a great way to connect with other commuter students and share our experiences. There is also a Commuter Peer Mentoring scheme so first-year commuters can get to know other UoM students in their local area and once lockdown and restrictions are lifted, there will be events in halls of residence that commuter students can attend. Below are some links to resources if you are a commuter student and get involved in the community and any events:

Facebook group for living at home
SU Live at Home Information
Commuter hub

A typical house in the United Kingdom

A view from Manchester Oxford Road train station in the early evening