Confessions of a College Commuter

Let me just start off by saying that my first day of college was August 29, 2011.
car-932702_1920With five and a half years of experience as a college commuter, I am not a rookie to this game.

Commuters are not a rare breed. We all regularly go to and from school, and for the most part, deal with the same struggles.

I read an article published on USA Today College that explains everything you should do the second you start school. Chances are, you won’t do them all. So, with less than one year left of driving to and from campus everyday, I want to look back at the good and the bad parts of commuting to college.

  • Free housing AND home cooked meals

Chances are if you’re commuting, it’s because you’ll still be living at home with your parents and that is okay! Not living on campus decreases the cost of school and who would complain about that? Even when you have to pay for gas, you still end up saving money!

On top of that, you get to avoid campus dining hall food and opt for the home cooked meals you never have to worry about missing. Again, who would complain about that?

  • Your pets

This one will only to apply to some people, but I definitely remember how great it felt to come home from a long day of classes and see my dog. Imagine having to go weeks or even months at a time without seeing your pet! The thought is unfathomable.

  • Involvement on campus

School events tend to happen at night, when students are out of class with more free time. Most commuters leave campus right after their classes are done, it’s not like they have a dorm to go back to.

Not every commuter lives a quick drive away from campus which makes it difficult to come back for an event or meeting. Not being involved with activities on campus can easily lead to feeling like you’re missing out on the “typical college experience.”

  • Your car = your second home

You never realize how much time you can and will spend in your car until you start commuting to college. It’s nice to think that you’ll utilize study rooms and commuter lounges on campus, but more often than not, you’ll end up in your car.

It might be for a nap, maybe a snack or a meal, or even to just sit there and relax. It’s normal, you’ll see it happening everywhere around you in the parking garages and lots.

  • Planning professional

If you think scheduling classes is hard, try doing it as a commuter. No one willingly creates a schedule that keeps them on campus for 12 hours with an 8 hour break. It wouldn’t make sense.

If you somehow get stuck with that late night, once a week, 3 hour class, you will soon master the game of “how late can I leave my house, get to campus, find a parking spot, and get to class on time.” It’s practically a right of passage for college commuters.


Through the good and the bad, never forget that you are not alone. Some may go to colleges with only commuters, some with a small percentage of them, but always remember this: you are all in the same boat.

If you ever need a good laugh/ reminder of this, just look up #commuterprobs on Twitter.

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