Being a college commuter student is not that easy and takes time of getting used to. While being a home type of person and staying with my family I felt was the right decision to make. So I had to establish the routine of a commuter student. It has provided challenges but is actually not that bad.
Most students who are commuters usually drive using their own car. Some prefer to ride a bike if close to campus or even take public transportation. Taking the train is part of my commuter life as a student. With taking the train, it involves a lot of time management between class and train schedules. Sometimes the train can be seriously delayed and I could be late for class which luckily has not happened to me so far. Right now with me being fully remote, I kind of have a bittersweet feeling of not commuting, meaning that I do miss it in some ways but don’t in others.
Ways I miss it is that the train was kind of a stress relief after a full day of classes. Plus, I enjoy the train rides and the walks to campus although sometimes I feel rushed but have managed to make it on time.
A downside I don’t miss for the time being, is how Mother Nature or a.k.a, the weather can play out. This really disrupts commutes as a whole and just slows down everything. I have and probably most have experienced all different kinds of weather during commutes from pouring rain, snow, to freezing cold temperatures. When walking to the train or to campus, the sidewalks can be icy particularly during the winter where I live if not treated properly. But again, I have not run into so much trouble with this, so far.
This is how my normal routine is:
During the fall semester of my freshman year, some days I had a class first thing at 8AM. So I had to wake up at about 5:30 to get ready, eat breakfast, pack a lunch, grab books, etc. Then allow myself enough time with a short walk from my house to the train stop since I needed to make the 6:30 train. I get on, pay for my round trip ticket and think about what’s to come for the day. After a couple stops, I reach my destination. Now its about a 25 minute walk to campus with my book filled backpack. I finally arrive to campus and to my first class which sometimes, I was usually the first one in the classroom.
My first class overall tends to go by faster than the others because as the day goes on, it seems to get slower for some reason. With almost an hour of a break between classes, I would either go to the library to get started on homework or go to one of the dining halls to grab something to eat if I was in the mood. Also if there is an event going on somewhere on campus I would go check it out because since I am a commuter, it is tough to take part in activities. My last class of the day didn’t end until close to 4:30 in the afternoon and then I realized I need to take the train home now. So I needed to hoof it 25 minutes back to the depot to catch it so I wouldn’t have to wait for the next train to come that would have taking almost 2 hours. I get back on, show my ticket and think about my day. I sometimes pull out a book to read if I have a lot of reading to do but most of the time I look out of the window on the train and try to unwind a little bit.
The spring semester schedule until the pandemic hit last March was better and the earliest class I had was 9:30AM. So I certainly felt less rushed and had more time to make it to the train. But keep in mind however, I didn’t do this everyday because some classes I had were hybrid, meaning that the class meets in person one day and then the other day is online.
After the first few months of commuting I can see how it can be frustrating for those who commute full time.