Dear ESU Commuters:

One of the many parking lots on campus that commuter students may use. Photo Credit / Amy Lukac
One of the many parking lots on campus that commuter students may use. Photo Credit / Amy Lukac
One of the many parking lots on campus that commuter students may use.
Photo Credit / Amy Lukac

By Amy Lukac
Opinion Editor

Dear commuters, I have a few tips for you. I’ve been a commuter for a while now, so I have figured out all of the tricks. If you’re reading this article, I’m positive that you’ll pick up at least one useful tip.

Plan your schedule carefully! Be aware that you’re a commuter when you create your schedule. One of the convenient parts about college is the fact that you’re able to decide when you want to go to class. I remember when I first started ESU and had 3-hour breaks between classes. It wasn’t fun!

Parking drives us all insane. There have been numerous opinion articles on parking over the years, and we all see people complaining about it on social media, or hear it in the University Center.

Driving around and around, wasting gas, and creepily following students to their cars for a spot gets old. Make sure you build in time for parking! I take Interstate 80 to school every day, and if you’re familiar with that highway, you know a small accident can cause a 3-hour traffic jam. Because of that, I leave my house a half hour earlier so I’m able to find a spot and get to class on time.

Knowing an alternate route to school is very important. I know at least one other way to get to ESU without having to take 80. Even though it’s not the best way, it’s still a way to get to class on time if a problem comes up. I suppose it would be good to even know three different ways to school if possible.

If you create your schedule so that you’re on campus for a good portion of the day, make sure you eat. Dansbury and the University Center will always be there selling food, but I’m aware that a lot of commuters would rather spend that money on gas. So, pack a lunch from home! Fill up a paper bag, or throwback to middle school, pack a decorated lunchbox, and find a comfortable spot to eat on campus.

Speaking of finding a comfortable spot on campus, you should always know where the good spots are to sit and chill. When I first started, and I had those 3-hour breaks between classes, I would take my Mac with me on the second floor of the University Center, put my feet up, and watch whatever Netflix show I had been binging at the time. It’s nice to have knowledge of all of the peaceful places are on campus.

Another peaceful place on campus is, well, you’re car. You should know that your car is perfect for naps. Maybe not so much now, since the weather hasn’t reached 30 degrees in weeks, but when spring comes around and the weather is nice; your car will turn into a futon with doors. You have to take advantage of what you have when you’re a commuter!

Last but not least, take advantage of group projects and or clubs! It’s much harder to develop friendships when you’re a commuter. The students that live on campus have a friend from the beginning: their roommates. As for commuters, you really should put yourself out there to meet other students! There are so many clubs on campus, so find one that sparks your interest, and go meet people!

I’m originally from South Jersey, but I was lucky enough to have grandparents that live in the Poconos, so in other words, free rent. Although I have two roommates: Nanny and Poppop, I’m able to commute to campus when I want. There are definitely some struggles to being a commuter, but once you learn the ropes and take note of the tips, you will be a professional.

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