Commuting to college - Advice?

<p>Everyone says live in the dorms, you shouldn't commute. Well, I don't have an extra 9K a year to spend on that, so I will commute. Does anyone have advice of how I should do things differently, or anything like that? I'm a little early as I'm not going until Fall, but I figure there's no problem with asking now. I might also catch people who just finished their first year after doing this. </p>

<p>So anyone, any advice?</p>

<p>How long will the commute be?</p>

<p>I suggest getting some type of delicious frappuccino for the ride.</p>

<p>~10-15 min probably... </p>

<p>I'm pretty much set on caffeine if that's what the frappuccino was about.</p>

<p>If it's for something tasty I'm more of a diet-soda and cereal person (not together...)</p>

<p>One problem with commuting is finding a parking spot. Even though you live 10-15 minutes away, you may have to leave much earlier in the day to actually get a parking spot. You may consider just walking to school.</p>

<p>Well, the walking would be more like an hour and a half, and it's pretty cold up here in the winter. </p>

<p>Walking won't work... But does anyone have an idea about getting around parking issues? I'm not sure about how parking off campus and walking from there is, I could check that out.</p>

Does anyone have advice of how I should do things differently, or anything like that?

Its going to be more difficult for you to make friends compared to those in the dorms. So you'll need to make an extra effort to be involved -- join clubs, take a rec class, etc. Also you should try to stay on campus all day, instead of showing up before your classes start and leaving afterwards. Show up at 8:30am, go to the library or student center to study, take some breaks between classes, stay on-campus until late in the day. See TA's or profs for questions, attend events they have on campus -- speakers, sports, etc.</p>

<p>You may be thinking "I'm only 15 minutes away, I'll just go home and come back later for any events that interest me". And you might at first. But the extra 30+ minutes of there & back (more like an hour once you add in parking, walking to your destination, etc) means that pretty soon it will seem like too much bother to spend an hour out of your day to go back once you're home. So I strongly suggest just planning on staying for the whole day.</p>

<p>Making friends is something I'm concerned about. How much time is involved in being in clubs, or does it really depend on the club itself. If just going casually is approproiate, should I go to clubs I have no experience in but just sound cool?</p>

<p>Heres some advice if your tight on cash and going to be there all day.</p>

<p>I suggest buying a decent sized cooler or lunch bag and some icepacks (I have 3 big ice packs and a cooler rated for 30+ cans and ice). I have two two quart plastic containers, one filled with ice tea and the other filled with water, usually I finish about 3/4 of them, if its a hot day I might even finish both.</p>

<p>I also make about 3-4 sandwiches(usually PB&J, tuna salad, chicken salad, turkey, grilled chicken, whatever goes good on bread), and a tupaware of fresh fruits. You can eat for around $15 a week(breakfest lunch and dinner for about 4 days) if you cook your own food and buy storebrand.</p>

<p>Trust me, I commute, I typically leave the house at 5:30am for work and usually my last class doesn't get out till 9pm, you don't want to be buying fast food or eating out, it'll add up quick. And going hungry is not a good idea either, being in class hungry will really make it hard to focus.</p>

<p>Also keep supplies in your car, extra calculator, pens, pencils paper etc. just incase.</p>