Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

Commuters are often under-represented when people discuss the typical college experience. It may not be as exciting as living on your own for the first time or staying with roommates, but there are still ways to enjoy commuting and feel a part of the college community!

The experience might be different for everyone. My commute usually takes an hour, but depending on the situation, it can take around 2 hours. The best way to make your commute easier is to be prepared: know the route and the stops, explore different travel routes to find the most accommodating ones, and use a real time tracking app, like Transit, to be caught up with any delays or early arrivals. You could even go a step further and plan your class schedule around comfortable commuting times, if possible. I’m not a morning person and commuting at 6-7am just for an early class can be draining. Next semester, all my classes start past 11am, which works best for me—even if it’s a late start. Also, I take all notes on my iPad and have online versions of my textbooks, so I don’t have to carry a heavy bag with me all day. 

The commute itself doesn’t have to be hard to get through – it can even be a good time to rest. Sometimes it’s hard to take time for yourself, but I find that commuting isn’t a productive space since there’s limited things you can do on a bus. If I’m going to an early class, I like to sleep on the bus – but be careful not to miss your stop! Other times, I like to read for fun or listen to music or podcasts. Sometimes, you can even catch a nice view outside the windows of the bus. Depending on your commute you can even pass by beautiful lakes or watch the sunsets or sunrise. The train usually passes through a small canyon on my route, which looks amazing with the fall colours.

Contrary to popular belief, you can also meet people while commuting. The people standing at the bus line are all students like you! If you’re commuting at regular times after class, you might even recognize familiar faces. Being stuck on a bus together is an opportunity to have a conversation. You can even meet people who get off at the same stop and probably live close by. Having a friend to commute with makes it fun and go by faster. At the very least, you can have someone to share the struggle and inevitable delays with. 

Lastly, I think dealing with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is easier when you include more people in your social circle that are in a similar situation. This even applies to social media. It’s great to watch college YouTubers who are fiercely independent and thriving, but it might help to find creators that also live at home with their parents (recommend: @clarisseintheclouds). Also, try to take advantage of your time on campus and sign up for events and clubs! Spend more time getting to know campus and your classmates too. 

I recognize that commuting can get exhausting with long trips, living in another city, and traffic—but I hope that this article helped you consider ways to improve your own commute.

Her Campus Placeholder Avatar
Susan Verdes

McMaster '26

I'm a third year student at McMaster University, in the Life Sciences Co Op Program. I am passionate about science, writing, and wellness. In my free time I enjoy 3D animation, writing, and watching movies.