Tips for college commuters

My name is Jessica Baker I am a second semester sophomore criminal justice student at The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. I want to join the police force in the future, hopefully next year. I made Dean’s list last semester for my academic success and was nominated for the National Society of Leadership and Success.

There are huge benefits to living at home or with family and commuting to college rather than living at a dorm. If not just the extra sleep you’ll get because you won’t be kept up by the parties or your roommate, then just for the huge break you’ll get with costs. Most colleges you’ll pay thousands of dollars extra to get two meals a day and a cheap bed. When I was looking to go to college I realized that the program I wanted was offered at the local college right in my hometown, and even had a few benefits to the course that only a few schools, nationwide, have. Tuition wise it was much cheaper than most colleges even with room and board, but just the room and board by itself would cost over $32,000 in the time it would take to earn a four year degree. That was more than the cost of my mother’s house. Naturally I chose to stay at home and commute rather than pay extra, I thought to myself “how bad can it be?”
A key factor in considering commuting is transportation; some schools incorporate the cost of using the city bus into your tuition saving you a bundle on gas and car repair. However, you must be able to manage your time much better to be able to catch a bus that will get you to campus in time for your class. My first semester I started with an 8:30 a.m. class two days a week, that wouldn’t have been too bad but to get there on time I was leaving my house by 7 to sit at campus for an hour because one little glitch and the bus could be late. Having your own car isn’t always the better option for that. I sometimes think that I’ll have plenty of time to get to class and stretch my time too much and have to rush to not be late. As long as you can manage your time commuting is no harder than walking across campus.
If you commute from a farther distance you may want to try to group classes closer together. My mother went back to school while I was in high school and was commuting 45 minutes to end up sitting most of the day in the library because it was a waste of money to drive home between classes. The best thing to do is to schedule your classes close enough together that you’re not having to spend your entire day on campus, and if you live in a place with bad winter conditions take that into consideration. Having to drive home in the dark after a night class when it’s snowing may not be your forte! Always make sure you have all of your professors contact information to let them know if you won’t be able to make it to class, or even if you’re going to be a little late.
Just remember to manage your time and plan ahead and you can definitely survive being a commuter student!

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