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Natalie

January 2nd, 2020

Pros and Cons of Commuting for Students with a Chronic Illness…

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Natalie

January 2nd, 2020

Pros and Cons of Commuting for Students with a Chronic Illness…

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

This post follows on from my first post on commuting. I’m going to talk about commuting specifically for students with a chronic illness. 

I have Fibromyalgia, Discoid Lupus, Carpel Tunnel, Dysthymia (a mental illness) and Chronic Anxiety. I have been commuting with my disabilities for 3 years now. I’ve commuted both by train and by car, but at the moment I’m commuting by train so I’m going to focus on commuting in terms of public transport.

So let’s start with the bad stuff…

Cons…

  • While using the tube does reduce the amount of walking you have to do considerably, it does also involve a lot of walking. Sometimes certain tube stations don’t have escalators or lifts so you have to use stairs, which for me is very difficult and painful. (Luckily for LSE I get the tube from St Pancras and get off at Holborn, which doesn’t have many stairs; a pro snuck in there).
  • In rush hour, getting a seat is unlikely. Now if you have a visible disability people will usually give up their seat for you, but if you have an invisible illness like me, you have got a very little chance that someone would give up a seat for you as usually people don’t believe you as they can’t see anything, and that’s if you can gather up the courage to ask someone.
  • When I’m having a flare up of my illnesses, coming in can be a lot of effort and very difficult. However, I would argue that it would be the same if I lived in halls as many students I know living in London have a very similar commute time to campus as I do and I don’t live in London! 

 

Pros…

A few snuck into the cons list but here are some more:

  • Commuting allows me to stay at home near my doctors and my family (and my dog)! 
  • An odd one, but commuting makes sure I do at least some exercise everyday, (exercise can often be difficult as I’m in a lot of pain).
  • A pro for all students and a major pro at that – I’ve found it far cheaper than halls, I went into a bit more detail on that in my previous post so take a look at that for more info or comment on here!
  • I’ve found that I’m happier in myself as I know I’m coming home to my room, my bed, my pillow, my chair etc. As everything in my room is catered to help me relax and to reduce my pain as much as possible. For me this is a major pro, being at home is important to me as it’s the place I feel the least unwell.
  • Another pro is that commuting allows me to study on the train, which means that when I get home I can just rest as I’ve had plenty of time to complete all the work I needed to do.
  • Overall, for me, I’ve found commuting both good for my mental health and my physical health. I’m happier in myself, my pain is easier to control and I’m also less anxious.

In my next post I’m going to talk about ways to study while you travel for people with travel sickness like me! 

Hope everyone’s had a good Christmas and a happy new year 🙂

About the author

Natalie

Hi all i’m Natalie and here’s a little information about me! I’m a Masters Student here at LSE studying MSc Human Rights. I’m a commuter student, and I have Fibromyalgia, Discoid Lupus, Carpel Tunnel, Dysthymia and chronic anxiety. I love movies, TV, video games and colouring.

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