I’ve commuted to college for the last four years of my life. I have endured the five-day school schedule, battled the stresses of scheduling classes, and have journeyed through college campuses that I was not very acquainted with. It’s been hard, but by the time I reached my 6th semester of college, I was prepared and considered myself a conqueror of the commuting lifestyle. Hopefully, you can learn these tips sooner than I did. At times, I learned lessons the hard way but hopefully you can save yourself the trouble.
1) Set Up Your Schedule Accordingly
Make sure you look at your schedule carefully. Ideally (especially if you live further away), you want to be at campus as little as possible. Sure, it might mean have 2-3 longer days on campus, but it will save you gas money in the long run, and possibly your sanity! If you don’t anticipate getting the classes you need to make your schedule more accommodating, then talk to your adviser or guidance counselor. Although they can’t always help you get into classes, they may have sympathy on you and do everything in their power. As an example, I was able to get out of traveling to school for a 3rd day out of the week (as opposed to the two I was scheduled for) for a transfer seminar class (which doesn’t even offer credit!). All I did was state my dilemma as a commuting student, and they were willing to accommodate me. You won’t know until you ask!
2) Pack a Lunch/Snacks
You don’t want to buy Fast Food or lunch from the cafeteria if you don’t have to. For a fifteen week semester, you can quickly spend a lot of money by doing this. Instead, make sure you buy lunch meat or other food that you can make quickly and be able to bring with you to school. This will not only save you money, but it might free up your time to do homework during any breaks you have during the day (since you won’t have to purchase food).
3) Carpool if You Can
This is obvious; you save money and it can be more enjoyable driving with someone rather than driving alone. I’m currently in my last semester and I’ve been fortunate enough to commute with someone 1 day out of the week, which limits the gas I use but also allows me to have some good conversations and fun before school and after (It doesn’t hurt that my commuting partner in that day is my beautiful girlfriend, either). In addition to all of this, commuting with another person makes the drive to your school seem much shorter than it actually is. If you don’t believe me, just try it for a week or two and then make a decision.
Commuting can be a big pain, but you have the ability to make it easier and more fun. Yes, there will be times of stress, but if you start out by following the aforementioned tips than you can begin handling your commuting lifestyle in a much better way. Commuting is only hell if you make it that way!