Whether you commute to school or not, your time at college is valuable. So, you should probably make the most of it, right? Right. And that means not forgetting the little things. I call them “must haves” and “must do’s” but you might call them the tiny essentials for a great college experience. Here are five mistakes you don’t want to make as a commuter student:
- Not getting involved on campus.
A large part of going away to college is to get involved with something new. College is an exciting environment with strange people you just haven’t met yet. So why is it that commuter students shy away from becoming part of the community? A part of me feels that we like blending in, but not actually participating in college affairs. To combat this, make it a priority to go to school events, join a club or organization that interests you, attend lunch at the dining hall with friends or maybe even cheer on your sports teams! Even if you say you “don’t have time” to do something, make time; because your college years will surely prove to be the best, if you make them the best.
- Missing out on relationships.
As a commuter, you tend to have one goal in mind: finish classes and get home. When you’re so focused on getting up for the day only to look forward to going home at the end of the day, you miss out on some vital relationships, maybe even a potential life partner. At this point in your life, you’re probably spending a lot of your time at school or work, but it’s just as important to start forming connections with people. Having friends or a significant other can really boost your morale and your confidence. A study cited by the Daily Dot notes that 28 percent of married college-graduates attended the same college.
You could be a part of that 28 percent if you remain open to forming new connections.
- Forgetting backup clothes.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to pack a spare skirt, blouse, and heels for an important class presentation that requires business formal attire. Not only that, but what if you spill on yours clothes and can’t run back to your dorm to change? We don’t have that quick access to a cover up like the residents do. It can be embarrassing and it’s a hassle when it happens to you, so don’t be that kid that forgets to pack an extra pair. Your friends will thank you.
- Forgetting lunch.
Another struggle in the commuter life is having to live off of snacks. If you’re running late one morning and don’t have time to make a lunch, the next best thing is snack. But, they don’t always hold you over. One time I was working in the editing suite for an internship assignment when my stomach went off talking like it was its own person. It growled so loud that everyone else in the room turned to find out what was going on. I hate being the center of attention, so it was extremely awkward. And then they ask: “Do you want a snack or something?” And I’m just sitting there like, “No, I’ll grab something on my way home, thanks.” But I never do. Lesson number one when it comes to food: make time to pack a sufficient lunch in the morning. Not only does it keep you healthy, it keeps the stomach monsters away.
Pro tip: granola bars, yogurts, cheese sticks or apples are great snacks to hold you over!
- Not getting to school early enough.
Some college commuter lots fill up quickly. Face it, you’re gonna have to walk–and I mean half marathon distance—just to get to class sometimes. Unless, you make it there early. 7:45am to be exact. And I’m not just talking about showing up for those 8am classes. Sometimes that means leaving early, even for a 9:25 or 10:50. It’s either that or you can try squeezing into that tiny spot between the mom van and the extremely fat truck. LOL. Not fun. So, leave early for those first two or so classes or prepare to face the wrath of the full lot.