How to make the most of your commute to the university by plugging in your headphones or doing nothing at all…

Whether it be Coventry, Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, or elsewhere, many Warwick students have a long commute to and from university every day. It can be long and boring, or it can be the perfect time to get yourself ready for a day studying…By Ciara Brodi

 It’s easy to just jump on the bus every day, stare out of the window and panic about the work you have or upcoming exams. Before you know it, you have reached campus and maybe still feeling like you have only just rolled out of bed. But, this time to yourself can be hugely valuable for how your day ultimately pans out, so use it wisely. Here are a few tips:

1. Listen to a podcast

Start your day with a podcast. There are more podcasts now than ever, most of which are for free. You can use platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music to access various recordings. It may be a recap of the news, discussion of an interesting topic or even a fictional series. It’s a great way to get the cogs in your brain turning, without having to engage in any formal study. It’s a chance to just think and ponder about whatever podcast takes your fancy for that commute.

I love listening to the ‘Guardian Long Reads’, which are podcasts that last for around half an hour. The articles discuss current affairs, and new ideas, such as Artificial Intelligence and the backlash against plastic consumption. They are educational and informative, yet without the attached stress of studying and preparing for an assignment.

2. Read a book or an e-book

At university, it is easy to slip into the cycle of only reading for seminars and assignments. While you may absolutely love your subject, it’s nice to slip out of reading for study and enjoy something else. Of course, choose whatever you want based on whatever you enjoy the most. And if a book is too bulky to carry in your bag, e-books are great to view on your tablet or phone. Check out the Amazon Kindle app, which even has a large number of free reads.

3. Listening to music

This one may seem a little obvious. But instead of just clicking ‘shuffle’ on your music library every morning, you can create your own playlist for your journey to university. This may include more relaxing songs to start your day, or perhaps the opposite if you need to be woken up! Nowadays you can find many pre-made playlists on various streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music as previously mentioned. I love waking up with ‘Have a Great Day!’ on Spotify, full of feel-good songs from many decades.

4. Practice mindfulness by doing nothing at all

And finally, there is nothing wrong with doing absolutely nothing at all. Mindfulness is the state of being fully aware of what is happening in the present moment, rather than being preoccupied with other events. As the university can be extremely hectic, it is vital to take some time to relax, and your commute can be the ideal opportunity for this. Find out more via this Moodle course and don’t forget to check out Warwick Library’s ‘Study Happy’ initiative which offers support for student wellbeing. Make the most of your commutes to gather up your thoughts and stare out of the window letting your mind wander to wherever you wish. Apparently, that’s how some of our best inventions in history have begun, while the singer Paul McCartney claims that he composed the entire melody for the hit song Yesterday in a dream


How do you prepare for your day on campus? Have you got a great commuting tip that you would like to share? Tweet us at @warwicklibrary, email us at, or leave a comment below.


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