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Fall is here, friends! Which means the weather will be getting colder and the commute to campus (or work) might get a bit more challenging. Don’t fret, for this is just the place for you.

Commute time MANAGEMENT

For some commuters, travel to and from school can add anywhere from an hour to three-four hours each day. (Common Experiences of First-Year Commuters – Parenting College Students, 2021). The weather and road conditions may start to affect your drive time. Give yourself some extra wiggle room to make it to campus on time. For example, for an 11:30 am lecture and a 30 minute commute, I would probably leave the house at 10:40. When it comes to finding a parking spot… this can be tricky sometimes, but I’m sure you have options! Be sure to check your campus map to find where all the commuter parking lots are located in case you can’t get a spot in your favorite one. Always bring your walking shoes and be prepared for changes.


A list of a few items I like to keep stored in my trunk in case I need them while I’m on campus. You can even find most of these items at the Dollar Tree if you’re trying to ball out on a budget:

  • Travel sized package (including toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant, perfume, hair brush/comb, lotion, soap)
  • Sweatshirt/crew neck
  • Extra pants (shorts and long pants)
  • Extra t-shirts (long and short sleeve)
  • Blanket
  • Electronics chargers
  • Snacks

work and schedule conflicts

I can be the first to tell you how stressful it is to work and go to school, but it doesn’t have to always be that hard! Make sure you aren’t overbooking yourself. I’d recommend keeping up with a planner of your schedule for work and school so you always know when you have time. Making time for yourself is super important as well, as college can be anxiety-inducing enough on its own without the added pressure of a work schedule.

Studying and social time

Now I know sometimes it feels like being an outsider seeing everyone who lives on campus interacting together. I would encourage you to stay involved in your own way! Allow yourself opportunities for new friends and new places to hangout on campus. Maybe even set up a date with someone in class to study for an upcoming exam at your campus library. Maybe joining a social organization at school isn’t your thing, you are not alone there. I believe that there are so many other opportunities to keep yourself involved and flourishing!

These are just some things that I have been doing to make commuter life my best life, so I hope that you can find some helpful tips and tricks here. I am a first year myself, so I am ready to experience this along with you! Let’s do this!

Annah is a first year education major at Bowling Green State university. She is from Bowling Green, Ohio. She enjoys singing, spending quality time with family & friends, the color purple, and creative writing!
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