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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

The commuter experience is what you make of it. While some people despise coming back and forth to campus, others try to make the best of it. We have to admit that while there are a lot of benefits to commuting, there are also some cons, so we’ve made it our mission as professional commuters to give you the best advice possible:


  1. Buy a garage pass, it’s expensive but SO WORTH IT…especially during the winter. You’re closer to campus and won’t have to shovel snow off your car. It’s a win, win. 

  2. You can move your car to unauthorized locations after 5 p.m. (But please check for signs and make sure it is not a 24/7 tow zone.)

  3. Get a UPASS. It will be very useful when the snow storms hit or it can come in handy when you’re having car problems.

  4. Make friends with people who live on campus, as they can swipe you into dining halls. If you have the guts to ask random strangers to swipe you in that works too, but having friends would make your life easier.   

  5. If you don’t make it to campus  by 9:00 a.m, you’re going to STRUGGLE to find any parking spot… unless you love walking and want to park a mile away in F or W lot .

  6. Get familiar with the commuter lounge inside of the Student Union. On the first day of the semester, you can ask for a commuter locker to keep all of your belongings in. This room also has three microwaves and it’s the perfect place to study. The commuter lounge changed my life! 

  7. Book a room in the library if you have huge gaps in between classes. If the room is big enough, you’ll be able to take a nap. Make sure you book it on the fourth floor because it’s super quiet and no one will bother you.

  8. Get involved on campus. You don’t have the luxury of having a roommate or floormates that will go eat with you and possibly become your friends. If you join clubs, you’ll get to meet people with similar interests who may become the friends you’ve been looking for.

  9. Keep an umbrella in your car. If you forget your rain jacket or forget to check the weather, you’ll be glad you thought ahead.

  10. Keep ice scrapers, brushes, and even a shovel  in your car. It’s going to happen: you’re in class and it starts snowing and now you’re standing in the freezing cold and all you want to do is get home.

  11. Know where all the nearest gas stations are. Trust me on this one.

  12. Bring food from home! If you’re not living on campus, you’re not paying for a meal plan and you if you eat breakfast at home and bring lunch with you, you’re only buying dinner (if you’re even staying on campus that late in the day).

  13. If you can’t trust yourself to make food, get a commuter meal plan.  These are good for about 25 swipes into a dining hall for $274.00.  Though this may sound like a lot, there’s another added bonus: when you have this meal plan and you buy food with HuskyBucks at the Union Street Market or the UC Cafe coffee shops, you’ll get 5 percent off your purchase. It may not sound like a lot, but when you frequent these places (trust us, you will), those dollars will add up.

  14. Keep an eye out for on campus events which often offer free food. 

  15. Check your email the second you wake up because you don’t want to drive all the way to your 8 a.m just to find out it was cancelled.

  16. Try cramming your classes on Mon/Wed/Fri or Tues/Thurs, so you do not have to drive to campus every single day.

  17. Keep up with the weather and plan your outfits accordingly because once you’re on campus, you can’t drive all the way back to change what you’re wearing.

  18. Make a killer playlist. The commute home will feel shorter if you’re jamming out to your favorite tunes. 

  19. Learn how the bus app works… we can’t give you much advice on this one because we can’t figure it out ourselves.

  20. Avoid driving through the middle of campus between noon and 5 p.m. A simple three minute drive down Hillside Road can turn into 12 minutes of waiting in traffic.


Now go live the best commuter life you can live. We hope these hacks make your life a bit easier.


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Amanda is a senior Journalism and Communication double-major with a minor in English. Aside from writing, she loves reading, spending time with family and friends, and making videos. If you can’t find her, she’s probably at the beach. Someday, she hopes to be a director and writer for TV/Film and spend all of her free time traveling. But for now, you can read her articles on Her Campus UConn.