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How I Navigate Commuting to College During the Pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I made the decision to spend this semester commuting to campus. I live about 15 minutes north of the city, so commuting was not a challenge of distance for me. However, it was definitely a different experience from living on campus or being completely at home with hybrid learning through LfA (Learn from Anywhere). Here are four things that I learned as a commuter student!

I love the T.

As a native Boston resident, I’ve had my fair share of experience using Boston’s public transportation, lovingly called “The T.” However, now that I’m a commuter, I’m using it two or three times a week, and I’ve found a true love for it. For me, there is something so enjoyable about spending my morning and evenings on the train. My hour long commute is a great time to listen to music and explore some new bands. It’s an amazing feeling to just have some time alone to listen to some music, catch up on some reading, or just think. I found myself pleasantly surprised with how relaxing I found my commute. I truly love the T.

The importance of scheduling in advance.
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The next thing I have learned as a commuter student is the importance of making plans in advance. When living on campus, it was very easy to reach out to someone, make plans, and be hanging out within an hour. However, as a commuter it’s a real necessity to have plans in place a day or two ahead. Although I often miss being able to plan things impromptu, it’s a real life skill to be able to plan ahead, and one I definitely lacked before. Aside from planning being an important life skill, I also really like just having things to look forward to.

The beauty of finding study spots.
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Now that I’m commuting, I am missing out on the joy of being able to return to a dorm room between classes, or for online classes. This too, however, turned out to be incredibly beneficial, because it allowed me to explore campus and find some great spots for me to study. Whether it be a conference room in the GSU or the top floors of Yawkey, being a commuter has given me the chance to explore some part of campus I otherwise wouldn’t.

There are so many good coffee places around campus.

So, I know this one isn’t a secret. Obviously we’re a college campus in the city, so good coffee shops are fairly easy to come by. However, with my long days in the city I’ve started expanding my caffeine horizons. Although I’m a big fan of Dunks, and enjoy Starbucks, trying places like Café Nero and Pavement has proven that there are so many great cafes around campus to grab a cup of coffee.

Overall, as reluctant as I initially was to be a commuter student, it turned out to be a really good experience for me. I’ve gained a lot of new skills and experiences from my semester living home.

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Monica is a Junior at Boston University studying English Education.
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