There is one type of travelling that isn’t nearly as fun or as adventurous as others; commuting. Living in Dublin can be both a blessing and a curse. You’re only ever a bus ride away from a gig, nice restaurants and all the shops, but this also means you’re only a bus, Dart or Luas away from a number of universities. Since DCU is outside the city centre, for some people, it can often mean needing more than one mode of transport.
A weekly student ticket for Dublin Bus costs €17.20 at the moment, which means instead of moving out to DCU or the surrounding area, commuting students save hundreds of euro a month on rent, but at what cost? Do commuters miss out on the full ‘college experience’ compared to their on-campus counterparts?
Financially, it is the most practical option for most students rather than moving out or buying a car. It is not as feasible as it used to be. The College View spoke to Contemporary Culture and Society student, Molly Gilmour from Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow who found herself at the unlucky end of a number of inconsistent changes and cuts to Dublin Bus services in the area. ‘I understand there are cuts being made everywhere, but I was literally cut off from Dublin unable to get to the Dart and I had no choice but to move out and I’m now under a considerable amount of financial strain.’
There are definitely positives and negatives, although many would say the latter outweigh the former. Going on a night out and staying over with friends is always the cheaper and safer option instead of getting a taxi home on your own. Commuters are very grateful for their hospitality, there is nothing like doing heads and tails on the small single beds of Larkfield to strengthen the bonds of a new friendship, right? But going on a college night out and staying over can often feel like a massive excursion. The night before the day of the event, you have to get everything ready, clothes for going out that night, comfortable hangover clothes for the next day and all the things you need for college also.
Niamh Galloway from Rathfarnham says “The worst thing for me has to be when you have a nine o’clock start; you’re up at half past six in order to make it in on time because the traffic across town is so bad”. By the time your first lecture is over you’re already tired and hungry and you still have the entire day ahead of you.
There are however some silver linings for those still living at home. It’s not as easy to fall into some of the bad lifestyle habits that students are known for, like eating pasta out of the pot and throwing a pizza in the oven every second night of the week. For anyone with a great Mammy, coming home to a dinner ready on the table after a long day is most definitely satisfying. If anything, the commute is an excuse to spend money on a decent pair of boots and a cosy winter jacket. You know how the song goes ‘always look on the bright side of life….’