For most people, going to College means moving far away from home and sharing a room with a person he or she has never met before. Although this may seem more difficult than staying home and commuting to college, both options have their own strains. I have come across countless articles providing tips for going away to college, but few about commuting. After experiencing my first year of the “commuter lifestyle”, I feel as though I can share some advice that some new commuters may find useful.

Tip #1: Set an Alarm

Missing or showing up late to even one class in college can cause you to miss out on a lot of covered material. Additionally, when you set your alarm, make it early enough so that you can get dressed and ready without rushing.

Tip #2: Make Time for Breakfast

Breakfast is an extremely important meal. Missing out on breakfast will cause you to be less engaged during your classes. Along these same lines, if you have an extra early class, make sure not to miss out on having a coffee or tea beforehand to really wake yourself up.

Tip #3: Prepare for Traffic

Since you have to commute to school, you need to be prepared for anything, even traffic. Make sure to give yourself enough time to travel without rushing. Commuting is a lot about time management. Remember: It’s not okay to be late, but it is perfectly fine to be early.

Tip #4: Get Involved

Joining clubs and organizations is not only good for your resume, but it gives you the chance to make friends. If there isn’t a club that interests you, make one!

Tip #5: Become Friends with People Who Live on Campus

If you ever need to sleep over because of bad weather or late events, you’ll need a place to stay. Having friends always on campus also keeps you up to date on things happening around campus.

Tip #6: Prepare for Bad Weather

Always have an umbrella, jacket, or sweater in your car or in your backpack. Also, if you can, consider keeping a bag of clothes and a blanket in your car for unplanned nights where you’ll need to stay over.

Tip #7: Bring Lunch Some Days

College food can get pricey, and it honestly isn’t too tasty. So, if you can, bring lunch once in awhile.

Tip #8: Join the Commuter Club

Commuter Clubs provide tips and fun days specifically for commuters, so join yours!

Tip #9: Don’t Miss out on Fun Events

Just because you don’t live on campus doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attend the fun events that your school hosts! Whether it’s a sporting event or a concert, think about attending!

Tip #10: Find a Good Study Spot

When you have breaks between classes, it is important to use this time wisely, by studying. Find a quiet place, without distractions, to concentrate.

Sabrina PictureSabrina Santamaria is an aspiring lawyer with a passion for writing. She is currently studying Political Science at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she is the Treasurer for The National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Feel free to contact her at