Commuting to college can be super frustrating at times, especially when you’re like me and don’t live too close to campus.
Here are some simple tips and tricks to make your life as a commuter a little bit better.
1. Always Leave Early
Leave a little earlier than you have to. You never know when you’ll run into traffic or other delays during your commute. As annoying as it is to wake up even earlier, it will save you the stress of being late to class. If you’re like me and have an early morning class, you will probably hit rush hour traffic as well. Use apps like Waze to find the fastest route at any given moment and avoid as much frustration as possible.
2. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk to People
It’s easy to feel disconnected as a commuter. Students who live on campus are constantly surrounded by each other, but when you leave, you simply go home by yourself. Don’t be afraid to talk to people in your classes and start a conversation. You’ll be surprised that students like us are a lot more friendly than they seem to be. I met one of my best friends from college simply by asking her where a certain classroom is. Who knew a simple question like that would lead to such an amazing friendship!
3. Join Clubs or Get Involved
As cliche as it sounds, it is so important to get involved on campus. As tempting as it is to drive away after a long day of classes, try to stick around and attend a club or organization meeting that catches your attention. Getting involved on campus has completely changed my college experience, and made it so much more enjoyable. By simply joining a club or an organization, you will constantly be meeting new people, making new friends, and be given opportunities you would have never known about.
4. Make Friends with Residents
It is SO helpful to have friends who live on campus. In the event of a snowstorm, or a late night event, it’s nice to know you have the option of crashing in at a friend’s room for the night. They can also give you the inside scoop on campus events that you might not know about as a commuter. Although I never had to stay over in a friend’s dorm, it’s always nice to have that option if necessary.
5. Keep Extra Supplies in Your Car
I always like to keep extra clothes, chargers, and makeup in my car since I never know when I’ll need them. I never know when I’ll have to touch up my makeup after a long day of classes for an event, or when I’ll end up spending the night in a friend’s dorm. It’s helpful to keep some of these necessities with you so you don’t have to make unplanned trips home.
6. Take Advantage of Breaks
You know those annoying 30 minute or 2 hour breaks you have in between classes? Don’t use them to go home and take a nap or retreat to your car. Stay on campus and chill with friends, grab a snack, or catch up on some assignments. By doing this, you will become much more familiar and comfortable with the campus, and you will end up meeting so many new people.
7. Use Campus Resources
Just because you don’t live on campus doesn’t mean you can’t use all the resources on campus. It took me so long to realize how helpful places like the career center, library, and dining halls were to commuters as well. Since we are paying ridiculous amounts of money to attend college anyway, why not use all the resources it has to offer?
8. Check Your Email Before Each Class
You don’t even want to know how many times I’ve driven to class to find out it was cancelled. To avoid this extremely frustrating situation, make sure you check your emails often, especially before each class. In most cases, professors have enough decency to email their students when they’re running late or unable to make it.
9. Make Your Own Schedule
Make sure you create a schedule that fits your needs as a commuter. You have so many options- you could squeeze all of your classes into two days a week to lessen your commute, or make your classes later on in the day so you don’t have to compete with the morning rush. When creating your schedule, keep your extracurriculars in mind and schedule classes around any meetings you may have. Making a great schedule can save you a lot of stress in the future.
10. Appreciate Homelife
As annoying as it can be to live at home as a college student, you have to look on the bright side. Coming home to your pets greeting you at the door, a big comfy bed, and good old personal space are things you should never take for granted.