Being a commuter college student can be understandably stressful, which is why I have compiled 15 tips that helped me successfully navigate my commuter college days.
I’m yet to meet someone who is excited about having to commute because very few people enjoy the experience and what with being college students it just makes commuting as a whole that much more of a hassle.
But, what if I told you that it didn’t have to be? What if I gave you tips that I used to help me navigate being a commuter college student? And I am happy to report that I actually loved my school commute for so many reasons.
Anyway, without further ado, here are:
Table of Contents
15 Life-changing tips for commuter college students
1. Use public transport
The first tip I have is to use public transportation if you can. What do I mean? It’s not that I didn’t have the option to drive, I totally did, I simply chose to use public transport because it was easier on my wallet.
As college students, most of us know how tight things can get, so when you can save yourself some change by making a smarter choice, be sure to do that.
2. Find a carpool
Here is the next tip, if you can’t use public transport for various reasons, then organize a carpool service. If you drive, then give your friends rides for a fee. I mean, think of it this way, if they give you enough to cover your gas money, aren’t you better off than having to worry about how to fuel your car? You’re welcome :)!
3. Pack a snack
I learned this one the hard way. When you commute, be sure to travel with a few snacks on you at all times. I shall come back with a whole post on great snack options for commuter college students so please keep an eye out for that.
As a college student, you probably have a lot on your plate and sometimes things don’t go according to plan, which is why you don’t want to have a 14-hour day on an empty stomach. Be kind to your body and remember that it needs sustenance.
4. Get up on time
This one will save you a ton, as it saved me. You need to create a sleep and wake-up internal alarm for your body. How do you do this? I am so glad you asked. You do this by sleeping and waking up at the same time daily.
This will make your commute as a college student so much easier because you leave your house on time, get to the station on time and have the whole day running on your time like a boss!
5. Get an on-campus job
For commuter students who need or want a part-time job, you should consider working in the school. There are so many advantages to working on-campus, but we shall discuss that at length in another blog post.
If you are scratching your head wondering what job you could possibly get on campus, please don’t worry, I will be coming up with a post all about that so keep an eye out for that.
6. Keep your safety first
Here I another tip for commuter college students, when picking your classes please think about your security. Take your commute time into consideration and keep your security at the very top of the list. After all, safety first, I’m I, right?
There are several things you could do to make sure you are feeling safe or rather being safe as a commuter college student and I shall be sharing that in a blog post soon.
7. Consider parking time
Are you always late because it takes you at least twenty minutes to find parking on campus? Here is a tip, be sure to factor that time into your daily planning and schedule.
I mean, if it’s something that happens every time you go to school then it is definitely time you add it to your commuter time, you will notice you’ll stop being late to class.
8. Time your commute
Commuting as a college student is only stressful when you are disorganized. Once you get a little organized, it stops being too stressful.
One thing you can do as a commuter college student to get more organized is to time your commute.
You need to time your commute from the minute you leave your front door to the minute you are seated in your first class, if you go straight to class from home, that is. That will be the duration your commute takes.
To be more accurate about your commute time, try and time it for a week, then look at the average time is coming to and that will be the time you know to work with regarding your commuting to campus.
This will save you from lecturers who find tardiness unforgivable, it will save you from getting in late to an exam, and it will help you create a great rapport with your college professors.
9. Get a lanyard for your bus/train card
This particular tip saved me more times than I care to count. If you use a bus or train, then chances are you need a card of sorts.
Get yourself a lanyard and make that lanyard part of your daily college uniform. Mine had my transport card on one side and my college card on the other, and for better or worse I knew that those were the two things I always had on me.
This will save you a ton of hassle as a commuting college student.
It’s something small but when you forget it at home or at school for that matter it has the potential to disorganize and ruin your whole day.
10. Take advantage of commuter facilities
Commuter facilities are something that some colleges have while some do not so please take this if it applies.
Examples of commute facilities include a commuter lounge, a commuter house, or a commuter center where commuter students can leave their stuff in secure lockers while they walk around campus for their classes, some commuter centers also have spaces for college commuter students to sit and relax and even study.
What is so great about commuter facilities is that they are a great place for you to make a commuter friend or two.
And if you’re really lucky, you could make friends with someone who takes the same route as you do as I did with someone who is still a dear friend to date.
11. Create a realistic schedule
Ever heard of Help! I’m feeling burned out [College]? College students are incredibly susceptible to burn out and as a commuter college student, you are even more so.
This is why you have to be generous with the time you allocate for you to commute from point A to point B.
If you don’t run on a realistic schedule, you are going to burn out, and it will be squarely on you. [Here is a post to help you recover if you’re feeling burned out]
Be reasonable while planning out your commuter schedule and make sure it allocates for things like traffic, and other minor delays that are out of your control.
12. Get a commuter buddy
This will be relatively easy if your college campus happens to have a commuter center, if it does then it is the perfect place for you to make a commuter buddy.
A commuter buddy will come in handy, especially on days when it is difficult to commute like when it is raining sleeting, or snowing depending on where you are in the world.
Of course, that’s not all they are good for, they are also good for security purposes, after all, safety first and strength in numbers and all that.
Oh and by the way, if you’re wondering where to begin making commuter friends, I have a whole blog post coming up on how you can easily make commuter college friends.
13. Have a commute playlist
If you prefer to travel alone, that’s also okay. You can have a great commuter playlist that plays all your favorite jams to make your commute fun for you.
This is something that I learned pretty early in the game as a commuter college student, and I highly recommend it.
14. Make your commute productive
This is one of the perks of not having to drive yourself to places, commute time can actually be a very productive time for you if you so choose.
As a commuter college student, you have seemingly less time for yourself to study and do this and that as compared to college students who live on campus or a walking distance away.
You, therefore, owe it to yourself to make up any lost time but make your commute time as productive as you can make them.
14.1. Catch up with lectures depending
It could be the perfect time to catch up with lectures, depending on how long your commute is. There are colleges where the lectures are uploaded online, so you can listen to the lecture again when you’re on the commute, those are the lessons I’m referring to.
14.2. Listen to audiobooks
You could also listen to self-improvement audiobooks. If you are anything like me then when it comes to reading books you are a master procrastinator, however, what will you do with yourself on a 1-hour-long commute each way?
Might as well develop yourself. Use your commute time to listen to audiobooks.
You could also use your commute time to study. It can be done, this is something I used to do all the time.
I’m not referring to a fresh study session, I’m referring to reviewing summary notes of a study session you did either at your house or in the library. Your commute would be a good time to review them.
15. Download your bus/train schedule
This saved me so much throughout my commuter life as a college student. I had a hard copy as well as a soft copy of the bus schedule.
This comes in handy all the time but especially when you are required to stay later or go in earlier than usual or worse still when you’re required to go into campus o a day when you usually don’t.
On days like that, you will thank all your gods for having a soft copy of the train or bus schedule with you at all times because you won’t be the least bit inconvenienced.
From one commuter college student to another, I hope these tips make your commuter life as a college student easier.