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Commuter Essentials

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNH chapter.

Whether you are choosing to commute this upcoming school year to save money or have fallen victim to the campus housing shortage, read below for must-haves and tips and tricks for your commute!


It may seem daunting to remember everything that you need every day. To keep everything organized, treat yourself to a small travel bag that can fit into your backpack/glove compartment. Goods and loose ends are always helpful: chargers, toiletries (deodorant/feminine hygiene/dry shampoo/etc.) and hand sanitizer.

One benefit of commuting is that you don’t have to pay for a meal plan, so be sure to do your diligent grocery shopping for your lunches. Food is fuel! You may also find it nice to keep some snacks in your car if you need something between classes. My personal favorites are trail mix, Smart Food and Diet Coke.

For Down Time

Unless you build your schedule perfectly to avoid long breaks between classes, it’s important for your sanity that you bring along something to keep you occupied and find a place to unwind between classes. There are a lot of hidden gems that you can safely stow away between classes and remain undisturbed. The Dairy Bar has a nice side room where you can set up shop and get a bite to eat if you need one. There is, of course, the commuter lounge in the MUB. On a nice day, you may find solace in the benches outside Hamilton Smith! Bring along a good book or play the New York Times games and you’ll go to your next class feeling refreshed.

Taking Advantage of Your Campus

Just because you don’t pay for housing doesn’t mean you lose access to campus facilities and amenities like the gym or the library. The library is certainly a great place to camp out, print out any material you need for class or get some work done. The gym might feel tricky because you don’t have a room to change in, so get a fun gym bag and pack a change of clothes. You pay for it, so get good use of it! You may also find the gym after you finish classes less intimidating because it won’t be as busy as it usually is at night.

Making friends

It may feel impossible to make friends on campus if you aren’t living here, but have no fear. Most importantly, you open yourself up for communication, which is leagues easier in this digital age. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a classmate, get lunch or set up a study date. The people who are worth your time won’t care about the time you aren’t on campus, they’ll value the time that you are.


In short, this is everything you need for success as a commuter: A good backpack, comfy shoes (you’re going to do a lot of walking), on-the-go-bag (hair ties, bobby pins, deodorant, pads/tampons, chapstick, hairbrush), gym bag and a change of clothes, chargers, snacks, lunch, water, a good book, study spot and, most importantly, a good attitude!

Kathryn Gregoire is currently a sophomore at UNH. She studies English Literature and working towards a career in writing and publishing. She was born and raised in Rochester, New Hampshire where she developed a love for reading very early on. She is always apt to talk about anything book related (or to help you edit a paper). Her Black Lab, Betsy, is her best friend.