Making the most of your everyday commute

Contributed Image

Commuting to and from school is a viable option for many students, but so few tackle it.

Want the cold, hard facts about being a commuting student? I’m your gal.

I often get asked “how do you do it?” by multiple fellow students as well as profs. I know lots of people choose not to commute because they don’t have their license, can’t afford a car, want to be independent, or would rather move out. I made the choice to buy a cheap car and live at home simply to save money.

I’m just beginning my third year of university, and I’ve commuted the whole time. It’s a 40 minute drive each way, which sounds long and boring, but isn’t that bad, really.

First off, I don’t waste those 40 minutes. I use that time to listen to audiobooks, sometimes for my courses, sometimes for pleasure. It’s a good way to ensure that I’m never bored and also making use of my driving time.

I quite frequently also miss out on meeting people when I can’t be at campus events. I think that I might have made a few more friends in my first year if I had chosen to live in residence.

Secondly, money. How much does it cost? That depends on the person and the driving time, of course, but I spend less than I would on rent if I decided to move closer to campus.

My insurance is $145 a month. I get about nine school trips off a gas tank, and it’s an average cost of $35 to fill my tank. If I drive all five days – to and from school – that’s three tanks of gas if I round up. That’s around $200 a month for car costs.

If I add the cost of the parking pass – around $350 for September to April – that’s $43.75 a month, bring the total to $239.75 for a single month of commuting.

This is obviously just for me, but that’s a reasonable amount to be spending per month.

Commuting has many pros and cons. One of the pros is that I’m living at home, meaning I have access to my parent’s food. It also means that I’m in my own bed every night, with the nice home environment to work in.

Another pro is that I’m not worrying about rent, Wi-Fi, or other costs that come with a home. From what I understand, that can be very stressful for many students.

If people choose to commute in their first year, there’s also the option of joining Laurier Off-Campus University Students (LOCUS), which is an incredible way to participate in residence events without living on campus. LOCUS has off-campus advisors – much like dons – and they host monthly events so one can get to know other off-campus students.

With that being said, there still are a few cons to commuting. My class attendance becomes extremely weather dependant; occasionally I have no choice but to miss class due to road closures or poor weather.

I miss out on multiple campus events as well, just because I have to be home. If I want to consume alcohol, I must find a place to stay overnight, which can be stressful.

The school provided parking passes don’t include overnight parking, so if I’m staying overnight, I have to get a city pass or find someone who’s driveway I can park in.

I quite frequently also miss out on meeting people when I can’t be at campus events. I think that I might have made a few more friends in my first year if I had chosen to live in residence.

Commuting is not the best choice for many students, but it can be if you prefer to be home and have free food.

It’s a good way to save money and still have a good university experience!

    Leave a Reply