The exams are pretty much done, which means that the higher education summer break is virtually upon us. Up and down the land students are poised to return to their home-towns – to earn funds with a summer job, to catching up and sharing stories with their childhood friends – and, probably best of all – to Mum’s cooking.
The student exodus is about to begin in earnest. But how will you be getting back? We take a light-hearted look at the modes, methods and stereo-types.
It might be a Vauxhall Corsa with a sound system that could command its own field at Glastonbury and an exhaust that wouldn’t be amiss helping a lighthouse out in the fog. Or (if you’re very lucky) it might be a brand new VW Polo that Mummy and Daddy bought to ensure you keep safe and sound. It could be a cute Fiat 500 with a custom vinyl stripe depicting Rome, or a Mini One with huge Union Jack on the roof.
Whatever the ‘pride and joy’ – you’ll see them one every side street, of every university town – as they try and cram 3 terms worth of clothes, bed furnishings, study resources, books and technology into the impossibly small boot – before finally deciding to fold the seats down.
Other drivers best beware the blind spot on the motorway – as the duvet presses up against the back window obscuring all vision.
Maybe you haven’t passed your test yet. Perhaps you’ve decided there are far better things to spend your student loan on than fuel, insurance and car maintenance. Or you are studying in a City like London – where you can get around easily without the need for your own four wheels.
But when it comes to home-time you need assistance. Mum & Dad’s people carrier is handy here. Especially when dad is paying for the fuel to get you back from university.
It does mean that you’ll have to listen to Radio 2 for the journey home – but that’s a small price to pay for the chauffeur service and extra pair of hands for loading the car. Besides – you could always put your ear-buds in and fire up the iPod if the journey home gets a bit dull.
The British Railway transport system was once the envy of the world – and it’s still a great way to get home. You’ll have to travel lighter than if you were going by car though. No bootful of stuff is manageable here – a large backpack or suitcase is usually about as much as you can handle – let alone fit in the luggage rack.
You’ll have preloaded a couple of movies or a blockbuster series to your smartphone or tablet for the journey – and packed the sandwiches and beer. Just mind that you don’t nod off or get so engrossed in Breaking Bad that you sail right past your stop.
It’s significantly cheaper than training it. And whilst it takes a bit longer as you usually have to go from market town to market town – coachers really get to sample the variety of life.
So much so that The Divine Comedy even wrote a very clever song about it… the lyrics are spot on – the video is a bit weird though…
The Clever Traveller
You don’t have to be an Oxbridge Student to work out that there is a better way. A way that means you don’t have to pack everything up and cart it – via whatever method – back home. Another solution for dealing with the half tonne of belongings that you’ve amazed in your London student accommodation.
No – it’s not burning it – it’s getting a self storage unit with us and leaving it safe and secure in London until you return for the autumn term.