Living on campus as a college student can be summed up into two words: fun and convenient. As a third-year student, I have lived on campus every year and have switched buildings each year. Some are definitely a lot nicer than others but overall, living on campus has made getting to and from class much easier and has been much more of a relief in terms of being late for class or forgetting an assignment in my room.
This year, however, although I am currently still living on campus, I’ve branched out and I am trying to take classes at Pace’s other campus location in New York City. So now, my week consists of two days at my home campus and two in New York City, which means two lengthy days of commuting between campuses. With the trip requiring me to wake up while it’s still dark out, take a one and a half to two hour bus ride there and back and sit through the 5 p.m. traffic, I had to learn quickly what would help me survive the trip and most of what helped were able to fit in my bag.
Airpods or headphones
Music makes everything better. On long bus or train rides, sometimes tuning out the background noise is what we all need. I always keep my airpods in my bag at all times to use either on the bus or between classes when I have some free time. The commute is also a good time to wake yourself up for the day or to take a minute to relax after a long day and music can really help that.
Whichever form of transportation you are taking to get to and from work or class, its extremely important to be aware of your surroundings and the germs that public transportation comes with. Keeping hand sanitizers or wipes in your bag for quick use is crucial, especially during flu season and with these new viruses going around, its better to be safe than sorry.
ID and cash
My school offers students a free shuttle bus ride between campuses which is the safest and most cost efficient way for students to travel. Even though it is a free ride and because rides are limited, there could be a time where I would have to take a train back or another form of transportation. In a case like this, it’s important to carry cash or keep debit and credit cards on you in case you need to take a last minute trip back to campus that might require you to purchase a ticket. You definitely don’t want to get stuck somewhere, cashless and with no ride back.
I’m telling you from personal experience, whether you are going to be somewhere for an hour or all day, always bring your chargers! Getting stuck on campus or at work for an unexpected, extended amount of time could put a damper on your day, especially if your laptop or phone is on its last hour of battery life. And nothing’s worse than starting your commute back with some dead airpods. Even though it could put a little extra weight in your bag, you’ll be grateful you brought it with you when you need it most.
Whether it’s a reusable one or not, always keep a full water bottle at hand. The morning and evening traffic is always unpredictable. Staying hydrated throughout the day is so important for your health and going the whole day in class and getting stuck in traffic feeling parched is the worst! Coffee and tea works at some point of the day, but don’t let dehydration stop you from getting through that commute.
Sweater or Cardigan
While it is currently winter, the temperatures are constantly low and a winter coat is almost necessary, but even as the weather gets warmer, it’s a good idea to carry a sweater or light jacket to wear while using public transportation. During the colder weather, heating systems can sometimes be weaker than we need them to be and air conditioning in the summer could be too strong. Keeping something light to throw on during a temperature drop is always a good idea and can keep you nice and comfy during the trip.
Everyone dreads a long commute and we only hope they go smoothly and get us where we need to be and back safely and quickly. There are definitely some other necessities that could keep us sane on our busy commute, but these are the bare minimum that I have found to help with my experience. Happy travels!