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10 Tips Every Commuter Should Know

10 Tips Every Commuter Should Know

Check out these tips every commuter should know and it will make your days easier!

To be a commuter student takes a lot of patience, endurance, and flexibility. In addition to making sure your class schedule is set you must develop a custom schedule to even get to campus. There is a lot of trial and error involved but it can be done. Here are 10 tips every commuter should know to create a smooth ride.

Better Late Than Never, But Never Late Is Better

Planning to arrive to class on time is a general rule but a better rule is to arrive 15 minutes beforehand. Sometimes a bus or a train runs behind schedule and if you have this 15-minute cushion set up, it should save you from running down hallways to snag a seat in the back. It is always better to arrive early to class than late and your professor will thank you. This is one of the tips every commuter should know.

Beware of Transfers

Depending on how far you’re “traveling”, a train system such as BART can usually get you to a variety of locations. However, sometimes you must transfer at a secondary station before reaching your destination and you should be aware of these. During the day a transfer can be as little as two minutes long so you need to be ready to dash across the platform to your next train or risk having to wait another half hour for the next train. At night it is incredibly easy to fall asleep on your commute home but you could completely miss your transfer point and end up past your house!


Search for Discounts

Commuting to school can unknowingly become very expensive. If you are taking a train and bus to campus every single day, you could spend close to $100 on transportation alone. Check online to see if your local transportation has any discounts for students or frequent riders. You already have tuition costs to worry about so searching for any way to save a few coins is worth the time. Remember this as one of the most important tips every commuter should know.

Snacks On Deck

This is primarily for commuter students who rely on public transportation but it works just as well if you’re stuck in 5PM traffic on the way home. Have a lunch bag to store snacks for the commute to and from school. Prepare this bag the night before and it will save you on those rushed mornings when you have no choice but to skip breakfast. I recommend granola bars and bananas because they will satisfy your stomach for the time being but they won’t prevent you from eating dinner the minute you make it home. Nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic tired and starving.

Headphones Please

Some days when you commute, you want to avoid talking to your fellow passengers and this is completely normal. One of the essential items to pack as a commuter student is your headphones. Whether you want to tune out the world through music, audio books, or podcasts it is vital to have personal headphones on deck. Don’t be the rider who blasts music from their phone speaker because everyone has worked a long day and they may not appreciate your noise.


Remember, It Is Possible

Commuting to campus may seem virtually impossible with all the different schedules and extra time you need as a student, but I’ve done it! Some of us do not have the luxury of living on campus where classes are a few steps away but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing higher education. You might live on your own in the next town over or maybe you’re still living at home. Whatever the case may be, this is a little reminder that you can thrive in college and be a commuter student.

Open to Familiar Faces

Once you get the hang of your commuting schedule, you may notice a few familiar faces on the same route. Sometimes they are fellow classmates who you can strike up a conversation with or they are just friendly folks on their way home from work. Do not completely close yourself off to everyone because they might help you discover a quicker way to get home or an alternative route to campus. We all commute for different reasons and if you are open to it, take the time to share experiences.

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Students at the University of Florida would never be caught dead saying these things out loud! If you're a Gator, you definitely don't say this stuff!


Thank Your Drivers

It may seem like common sense to say please and thank you but this is something that seems to be disregarded on a commute. Thanking your bus or shuttle drivers not only shows your appreciation but it also creates a window of compassion that will benefit you in the end. There were times when I would rush to catch the shuttle right before it left campus and since I spent a lot of time with the same drivers, most of the time they would wait a few extra minutes so I could climb aboard. Although this treatment is not guaranteed, everyone likes to be thanked for the hard work they do.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

There are instances where train operators make important announcements on the loud speaker and if your music is blaring, you might miss them. As a commuter student I would always have one headphone off that way I wouldn’t miss anything. There is nothing worse than getting caught off-guard in the middle of your commute and having to ask around to see what’s going on. There are many other safety precautions to be taken but being aware of where you are/who is around is very important.

Take Advantage Of The Time

Most of the time as a commuter student your commute to/from home is your only source of alone time. If you commute in a car, take this time to decompress by belting out your favorite lyrics. One of the most valuable tips as a commuter student on public transportation is to use this time to get ahead. Start that class reading, do some homework in your seat this way you have less to do at home. Some days you might feel like just relaxing but other days you might realize that this is the perfect time to get things done! This is one of the best tips every commuter should know.


Which of the tips every commuter should know will you follow? Let us know in the comments below.

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