By Veronica Donato, SPAS 2018
Starting a new program is stressful but commuting on a day-to-day basis doesn’t have to be. Getting ready in advance can minimize the burden of being a commuter. I have listed some tips that I find to be very useful.
- First and foremost, your mode of transportation should be a reliable one (i.e. personal vehicle or public transportation).
- If you have your own vehicle make sure you schedule regular maintenance checks or assign time to check it yourself.
- Fill up on the same day of the week to avoid the struggle of running out of gas or having to find a gas station on your way to campus (while possibly running late).
- Familiarize yourself with the route you will be taking – to and from – because life happens and the traffic is unpredictable.
- Find alternate routes (freeways or surface streets).
- Use Google Maps or Waze for helpful alerts and re-routing around traffic/accidents.
- Timing is very important. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get to class and not be in a rush. This might take a couple of weeks to practice!
- Always take a look at traffic reports before heading out. This way you know if you have to take one of the alternate routes or if you have to give yourself extra time.
- From experience, for PA students, if push comes to shove call in late to 714.872.5685 (this is Ms. Lowery’s line – she’s awesome by the way).
- To avoid rush hours you may either:
- Find a gym nearby (if you have a membership) or use the one on campus and leave early, workout and shower at the gym; or you can do that after class. The MBKU gym was just renovated and new machines added!
- You can stay after class in the classroom, library, study room, lounge or a coffee shop of your choice nearby and study while traffic dies down.
- Don’t be afraid to get to know your classmates right away. If they offer you to stay at their place for a night, take the opportunity!
- If you stay at their place and they drive you, you can leave your vehicle on the campus lot, just let the security know it’s staying overnight (they are pretty good about that).
- If they’re extra generous, they’ll let you stay the night before exams so you have a built-in study buddy and a couple extra hours of sleep.
- Podcasts are always a plus. If you decide that home is where you want to be, then you can make your drive a productive one.
- Or this can be the time you can use to catch up with friends and family and tell them all about how the program is going. 🙂
- No matter your choice, don’t forget to be safe and use a hands-free device … Have I told you how crazy traffic is here?
- Use a locker to store non-perishable items (ex. granola bars, trail mix, etc.). Bring your own lock!
- You can meal prep and leave it in the refrigerator in the Student Rec Center kitchen for a few days.
- Pack toiletries, extra clothes, shoes and whatever else you might need in your vehicle.
I hope you find some of these tips useful in your first didactic year!