5 Tips for Commuter Students

Being a commuter student has its perks: cutting down on dorm costs, getting familiar with the off-campus terrain, and - most importantly - avoiding the long breakfast lines in the commons! On the flip side, hauling yourself to and from campus each day can be a lot to handle. With that in mind, here are some tips that will help you navigate this unique situation with minimal stress and maximum preparedness!


Pack a snack. All college students should know to carry a granola bar or two as a quick pick-me-up between classes, but if you commute, you may end up really needing that extra fuel on your way home - or, in extra crazy days, as a stand-in for a meal. On a real note, there’s no better way to make friends than offering them food if they’re hungry.

Pack your bag the night before. It’s a great way to save time in the morning and forces you to plan ahead, since you’ll need to know what you’ll be doing the next day in order to figure out what to bring.

Get an on-campus meal plan. It’s a convenient, stress-free alternative to bringing your own food, and you get more bang for your buck than you would by using your debit card!

Always carry bus fare. This is another thing most college students should do, just in case, but this goes double for commuters (yes, even if you drive!). You don’t want to miss out on a social event or get stuck somewhere off-campus after a schedule mix-up - or worse, an actual emergency.

Find a dorm buddy. Got a big event the night before your 8am class? Late-night cram session with your study group? Unexpected sleet turn the road into an ice rink? You’ll want to have at least one friend with an understanding roommate and space to spare who you can crash with for the night. (This should go without saying, but every time, make sure your friend, their roomie, and their RA are on board! Courtesy is a must.)


Now that you've got these essential survival strategies up your sleeve, the craziness of commuting will seem a lot less stressful. And remember: all the extra effort you're putting in right now will make it that much more satisfying when you finally get that degree!