How to Commute to College by Car

Опубликовал Admin
27-12-2020, 09:50
Attending college or university is a very rewarding experience, but for the student who lives off-campus, getting to campus can be very stressful. Planning ahead, reviewing your school's commuting and parking policies, and considering alternate modes of transportation will help you focus on your academic goals and help ensure that you get the most out of your college experience.

Planning Ahead

  1. Schedule your classes wisely. When signing up for your courses each term, be sure to choose times that fit into your routine and preferences. If you are not a morning person, scheduling an early class may not be the best option for you. Make sure you can commit to that time slot and allow yourself enough time to get to campus. Being mindful of these factors will help you keep your academic commitments.
    • Use time between classes wisely. Make sure you have enough time between classes to meet with a study group, socialize with fellow classmates, or meet with a mentor or professor.
  2. Decide how often to be on campus. Life is busy, and it is important to consider your other commitments when scheduling classes. Ask yourself how many days per week you want to commute to campus. Scheduling courses for 2-3 days per week rather than every weekday may be a better option for your lifestyle.
  3. Be aware of high-traffic hours. Be mindful of the morning and evening rush hours as traffic is typically congested during these times. Remember that you have to factor in time spent driving, parking, and walking to class, and that these times will likely increase during these peak-travel times. Tune in to your local morning news station or radio station to get a traffic report and plan accordingly.
  4. Research your school's parking policy. Many campuses have parking lots that are exclusively for students or faculty. Find out how many parking lots are accessible to you, and be sure to obtain a parking permit when necessary.
  5. Check your resources. Many schools offer a variety of services for their commuter students. These can include commuter tips, opportunities for connecting with fellow commuters, information on campus security, and off-campus housing options. See what services would be beneficial to you to make the most of your time on campus.
  6. Talk to your professors. Communicate with your professors early in the semester and let them know that you commute to campus. There may be times when you arrive late to class due to traffic, car trouble, or weather conditions. Tell your professor that you will do your best to avoid these circumstances when possible. Your professor will appreciate having this information in advance!
  7. Pack the essentials. Make a list of what you need for class the day before. It is not always possible to run home if you have forgotten something, so planning ahead is crucial. Be sure you have all your books, assignments, devices and their chargers, snacks, and any other items you may need throughout the day.

Driving to Campus

  1. Leave early. When commuting by car, it is important to leave early in case your commute is delayed by traffic or bad weather. Accounting for these possibilities and giving yourself extra time will help make your drive less stressful and much safer.
  2. Review your route. Before leaving for campus, check a GPS or your smartphone map to see if your usual route is clear. It is useful to familiarize yourself with other routes and methods for getting to campus in case there is significant traffic.
  3. Provide entertainment. During your commute, use that time to catch up on your favorite podcasts, listen to your favorite albums, or listen to an audiobook. Not only will be you entertained, but the commute will go by faster and you'll learn something new!
  4. Relax. Driving can be hectic, so it is important to practice ways to reduce stress. Taking deep breaths, listening to classical music, and practicing the art of mindfulness are all great ways to cope with tension and anxiety. Reducing stress can also benefit your overall health and well-being, and it can help you focus before your class begins.

Using Other Transportation Options

  1. Carpool with friends. Ridesharing is a great way to save money, decrease traffic, and improve the air quality in your community. Some schools offer parking discounts and other incentives to those who carpool, so be sure to research your school's policies. Not to mention, it's a great way to get to know your fellow classmates!
  2. Use public transportation. See what public transportation services are available to you in your area. Taking a bus, a tram, or a train can save money and time, and it helps reduce carbon emissions. It can also give you time to catch up on homework or assigned reading for class.
    • Many schools have a shuttle service from major transportation hubs. Be sure to see what your school offers.
  3. Ride a bike. Biking to campus is a great way to help the environment while also getting a great workout! Be sure to always wear a helmet and to see what other accessories your state requires for cyclists. Also, be mindful of vehicles and pedestrians at all times and obey all traffic laws.

Integrating into Campus Life

  1. Join a club or organization. Engaging with your school can build a sense of community and attachment to the campus that may otherwise be lacking for commuter students. If you enjoy playing chess, consider joining a chess club. If you care about the environment, join a student organization that helps promote green living. Find an organization that aligns with your interests, and it will help foster a stronger connection to your school.
  2. Use social media. Most colleges use multiple social media platforms, and many students create social media communities for students to discuss and plan activities and events. Look on Facebook or Twitter to see what student-driven communities exist at your school and be sure to join in! This will keep you in the loop so you will know what is going on at campus, even when you are not there.
  3. Find a job on campus. Be on the lookout for job openings at the campus bookstore, coffee shop, tutoring center, or recreational center. Working on campus can help you meet other students, faculty, and staff and can help you become more familiar with your school's culture.


  • Ask your classmates how they commute to and from campus. They may be able to offer some timing-saving and stress-relieving tips.
  • Seek out academic advisors, professors, or other mentors if you begin to feel overwhelmed. They can help you redirect your thinking, offer new perspectives, and share their own experiences. It can be difficult to juggle coursework while commuting, so be sure to communicate with those around you.


  • Check the weather. If it is unsafe to drive, stay at home. Contact your professors in advance and explain your situation. Arrange to meet during his or her office hours to obtain any material you may miss in class.
  • Maintain your car. It is important to have your car regularly checked by a mechanic to ensure that it is running in tip-top shape. Be sure to regularly change your oil and check the tread and air pressure in your tires.
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