As students wonder what college will look like come next fall, are considering if they should approach it differently, given the challenges COVID-19 poses. To avoid a potentially germ-susceptible dorm space, commuting to school is a viable option for many. If you’re considering this, here are practical tips for college commuting success.
Master the Commute Itself
First, you need to master the commute and take advantage of that time each weekday. Depending on your mode of transportation, you should focus on different things. If you drive, be sure to drive safely and responsibly, using safe driving practices in traffic so that you limit your risks. You will, after all, spend much of your semester in your car, so safety is vital. Also, use your car time productively. Begin your day with a thought-provoking podcast to wake yourself up and prepare your mind for intellectual engagement and end it by listening to relaxing music as you travel home.
If you commute by train or bus, your commutes will look different. Planning how you’ll practice physical distancing to avoid sickness will be important. Otherwise, dedicate your commute to doing your reading for class or checking in on your email. It may even be worth using your phone as an internet hotspot or purchasing a separate hotspot to fully enable your work.
Enjoy Campus Life
Another tip for college commuting success is to allay your concerns about your social life as a commuter by involving yourself on campus immediately. Without the ease of dorm life for building friendships, you need other communities. Get involved in intramurals to give you an active outlet where you can connect with people. If that doesn’t appeal to you, join the theater club, debate team, or another organization. Otherwise, there are always fun events or lectures to swing by.
Make Your Downtime Social
Ultimately, you don’t need to join a longstanding team or organization to make friends. Strive to simply be present on campus. Park yourself in the campus café, schedule meals with acquaintances and classmates, and generally seek others out. Resist the urge to go home or hide out in your car until your next class. Being present can help you feel the benefits of living on campus—the connection with the culture—without actually living there.