Doing shots till you throw up behind an All Bar One. Late-night conversations about nothing in particular with new friends from Freshers. Struggling to stay awake in lecture halls that smell like armpit. We all know what university is supposed to be like but does staying in a cheap hotel to cut costs make a difference?
After finishing a day of lectures, 20-year-old University of Northampton student Tigerlily Taylor checks into a Travelodge for the night instead of rented student accommodation. Travelling up to uni two days a week and staying over for one night, Taylor estimates that her regular stays amount to ?260 per month, paling in comparison to a room in halls.
In , her TikTok about the self-described money saving tip went viral and attracted over 700,000 views. Genius, says one commenter on Taylor’s page. Saving so much money. Another replied: I do that too but at Premier Inn. For others, it’s a story that highlights the disparity between grim reality and soaring student accommodation costs.
Taylor, who lives with her parents in Hertfordshire, tells VICE: Commuting seemed like the best option for me. COVID-19 didn’t really impact my decision I’m simply glad I didn’t spend money on accommodation when all my lectures ended up being online.
I don’t think I’ve missed out on the university experience I’ve made amazing friends at university and I’ve also got a friendship group at home.
Jack Train, a 24-year-old electronic engineering student at Newcastle University, also commuted from Yorkshire the past academic year.