General Education

10 Tips to Survive Commuting to College

10 Tips to Survive Commuting to College
Image from
Vanessa Boatwright profile
Vanessa Boatwright May 26, 2020

Not every student has the convenience of living on campus. Commuting to campus can set your tone for the day, depending on how smoothly it goes.

Noodle Programs


Noodle Courses

Article continues here

Not every student has the convenience of living on campus. In fact, some students choose not to for various reasons: to save money, they already live close to campus, they have a family, etc. Commuting to campus can set your tone for the day, depending on how smoothly it goes. I have commuted for 4 of the 5 years that I have been in college, both via public transportation and car, and I have figured out what to do to ensure a comfortable commute.

Because both modes are different, we’ll cover the tips that are effective for each.

Commuting via Public Transportation

  • Leave early to avoid being late.

Public transportation can be unpredictable, whether the bus is behind on schedule or the train has delays. It is important to make sure that you give yourself enough time to promptly get to class.

  • Get a public transportation card.

Depending on your city’s public transit system, you may have to pay for one or it may be free. Having a reusable card is convenient because you can reload a set amount of money on it to last however long you need it to. Most systems have monthly plans at a reasonable price that will give you unlimited rides. Make sure to keep it in a safe spot to prevent losing it, and if you can, get a second one just in case.

  • Always keep spare cash.

It is a smart idea to keep spare cash on you in case your credit/debit card does not work, or if the kiosk does not accept cards. It is also a good idea in case your transportation card does not work.

  • Bring headphones.

This can keep you busy or tune out the outside noise. Also, it is considered rude to play videos or music out loud from your phone, especially in the early morning or during rush hour when everyone is tired.

  • Bring a book or work on assignments.

Riding public transportation is a great time to catch up on reading or to get some work down. Use the time to your advantage.

Commuting via Car

  • Leave early to avoid being late.

Just like for public transportation, you should leave early to avoid traffic or to still make it to class on time despite the traffic.

  • Make sure your tank has enough gas.

Checking if you have enough gas in the car the night before will save you time in the morning, especially if you are in a rush.

  • Set up a playlist or podcast.

Having an energetic playlist or entertaining podcast can help you stay alert or put you in a good mood during the car ride, especially during traffic.

  • Carpool. 

If it is possible, consider carpooling with a friend to campus. It could save you money and gas, while also having a friend because commuting can sometimes make you feel disconnected from campus.

In the end, commuting to school can be a viable option. It can be tiring or take longer than living on campus, but by following these tips you can have a comfortable commute.

Want to become a Noodle contributor? Email:  


Noodle Courses


Noodle Programs