7 Struggles All Commuter Students Know

As a commuter student, life is very different than the average college student. While we all struggle in different ways with school, commuter students have other things to worry about. And sometimes, those worries occur even before you step foot out of your door. Just to give on-campus living students an idea of what we go through, here are seven struggles that all commuter students know:


1. Parking for Class is Nearly Impossible

You know the drill…

Step One: Leave your house a ridiculously long time before your class actually starts in order to arrive strategically when the last class lets out.

Step Two: Drive super slowly through the rows until you can stalk someone down for their spot.

Step Three: End up with a halfway decent spot if it’s a morning or night class…or all the way by the baseball field if it’s an afternoon class.

Step Four (if you’re me): Forget to lock your car.


2. The Traffic

Specifically, during the afternoon between campus and the Garden State Parkway/Route 18 entrance. Your drive home probably takes twice as long because getting from Cedar Ave to the entrance to the Parkway or Route 18, takes at least 20 minutes. Sitting in dead stop traffic on Route 36 makes taking side routes home very tempting every single day.


3. Having to Attend Meetings For Clubs, Sports, or Anything at Night…

Right, let me pack everything I need for an entire day up into my tiny backpack so I can spend 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on campus. This is all just to attend a 30 minute meeting at 9 p.m. I don’t have a life or anything.

4. Having a Messy Car

Sometimes commuters feel like we LIVE out of our cars. Water bottles and granola bar wrappers litter the floor simply because we don’t have time to eat proper meals ... orr throw away the garbage made by doing so. We’re also all guilty of compiling a collection of random sweatshirts, shoes, and other clothes in our trunk from all the random outfit changes we have to make due to our unpredictable lives.



        Need I say anything more?


6. Our Study Habits are Weird

 Some days, you can find a commuter student up to their neck in studying, writing a paper, and homework while in the Student Center trying to get it all done in one span of time. Other days, we decide to try to study at home…and then home obligations make it 20 times harder. Imagine what it’s like trying to write a research paper, and then your parents need your help with something, or your brothers asking you a million questions, or you’re in charge of cooking dinner…Not happening.


7. We Commute For All Different Reasons, But We All Do Understand Each Other

Some of us commute to save money, some work far away from campus...

We all understand the universal struggle no matter the case. Those students who live on campus or off but near campus, cannot fully understand what it’s like to always have a million responsibilities beyond a “normal” college student. Most commuters have a huge list of obligations we must attend to and it’s easy to lose track of ourselves and our time.

 All in all, us commuter students understand one another very well. We all go through the same things, no matter if you go to a totally different school than another. There’s nothing like driving on the parkway and noticing the car next to you has a sticker on their car for parking from your college. Even if you don’t know the person, you can’t help but feel happy because they’re in your group of commuters.

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