For some reason, the majority of college blog posts are targeted to those who live on campus. In fact, until my cousin went to college (which was when I was when I was sixteen), I had assumed that everyone lived at college. No one told me about commuters. As a commuter, your college experience is pretty different. Your have different expenses and different issues (instead of stressing over chores, you get to spend time stuck on campus in between classes). Here are my tips if you’re a commuter student:
1) Budget for YOUR expenses– As a commuter you may have pay for gas or public transportation to get to campus. Depending on how many hours you spend on campus, you may also have to budget for food and snacks. I had days where I would take my three meals at campus instead of my house but there were also days when I ate all the food I brought with me and had to go buy something from one of our food stalls.
2) Do homework during campus hours– Travelling to and from campus is exhausting and when you get home, you probably just want to sleep. Save your precious nap-time by doing most or all of your work on campus. This ensures that your time away from campus can be spent doing something that isn’t related to campus. Like binge-watching Riverdale. I did this and I never had to pull an all-nighter.
3) Pack snacks– This is very important. Whether it’s because you miss breakfast due to your early commute or you simply spend a really long day at college, pack snacks to ensure you don’t get hungry. Bringing snacks from home also means you don’t have to spend money every time you need a nibble. Trust me on this. My first month of college, I spent around R800 on food.
4) Make friends in your classes or through your commute– When your time is divided between campus, commuting and home, making friends can be difficult. Introduce yourself to the person next to you in class or the girl who takes the same bus as you. You guys will already have one thing in common (The long commute or the long class).
5) Download ebooks– Whether it’s recreational reading or your college textbooks, try as much as possible to buy ebooks. They take up less space and won’t hurt your back. As a commuter you don’t have the luxury of being able to pick up textbooks from your dorm room so this solution works great! I also have a few tips on how you can avoid buying textbooks here
6) Be prepared… For anything– there’s no predicting the weather so carry a jacket with you at all times as well as closed shoes. It’s always amusing to me when people walk in heels and are then attacked by rain. (I’m not a bad person, I swear! They just make for a really funny sight. Also, why are you wearing heels when you’re going to have to walk to class?) This leads me to my next point:
7) Wear comfortable shoes– Can you imagine the horror of wearing shoes you can’t walk in and then having to suffer the entire day? I can (because I’ve done it before) and it is not fun. Be sure that your shoes are durable and comfy. You’ll probably be in them a while.
Are you a commuter? What are your tips for surviving college? I’d love to know.