Things I’ve Learned from Commuting

Until recently, I had never commuted anywhere because everywhere I needed to go was in walking distance. So when I decided on a whim to commute from home I was excited… until I remembered I had no idea how it would affect me and my lifestyle and it was too late to change my mind. Here are some realizations I have made and am sure every commuter will agree with me.

1. Nothing like traffic to ruin your whole day  

In my first few weeks of being a commuter, I left my house a little over an hour before a class started and soon learned how dumb that was. I thought since I only lived twenty minutes away from school I was giving myself plenty of time to get to school, have breakfast, chill, and maybe slide some homework in real quick. After many days of stress induced panic attacks I quickly realized that it was best to leave hours earlier because getting stuck in traffic will only agitate you and start your day off on the wrong start.

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2. That ‘fresh out of bed look’ is only acceptable while living on-campus

My freshman year I was always going to class in baggy sweats, not a trace of makeup and a borderline rats nest in my hair, but seriously, what girl on campus wasn’t wearing the exact look? I thought this look would be okay to continue this school year while I tried commuting and let me just say bus drivers and many other adults are not fond of the ‘college look’ I thought I was rocking. The best way to avoid the glares and disapproving looks is to put more effort into your appearance by wearing real clothes, using this fancy tool called a hairbrush, and a tiny bit of makeup just to make you feel (and look) more awake.

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3. Create a balance between school life and your well-being

It is so much easier to procrastinate while living on-campus but when you are commuting goofing off only does so much for your sanity. I would spend around four hours of my day commuting to school and would be pulling all nighters more than I had done my freshman year. I blame this on the fact that since I could no longer hang out in the late hours with my friends.  I would try and make up the time during the day in between classes instead of doing my work. This worked for me until I started to get sick from exhaustion and was becoming extremely anxious. As juvenile as it sounds, I set myself a bedtime and have found the perfect balance in my social and academic life and am doing even better than ever before.

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4. Pack your backpack wisely

I cannot stress this enough, you need to go through everything you plan on doing that day and pack for all scenarios. Look at how long you will be staying on campus and check how busy your schedule looks. Too many times I would pack meals I had to warm up with no snacks and I would get last minute assignments to do and wouldn’t have time to eat. As weird as it sounds carrying an emergency outfit in your car is a good idea, I am extremely clumsy and would always spill stuff on me and would have to go the whole day without changing. There are going to be days where you won’t necessarily need everything you packed but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

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Commuting is very stressful and really forces you into the adult mindset to where you have to think about things like traffic and how much you stress you can personally handle. It is very easy to lose control of the balance that keeps you sane and can easily start making you more agitated all around. These are just a few of the things I have learned through my experience in commuting and if I could give any tips it would have to be to take a breather every day and to know that you will get a hang of the whole communting thing. You just have to be patient and give it time. Good luck on your morning commute, collegiettes!