The Trials and Tribulations of Commuting

By

Published September 18, 2019
A A A Share
The Montclarion
Alexis Kitchmire | The Montclarion

Ah, commuting, one of college’s most annoying, yet most rewarding double-edged swords. It can make your life a thousand times easier, or it can be the bane of your existence.

The first subject is Route 3. Could you ask for a more congested 12-mile stretch outside the New York metropolitan area?

It is especially irritating since half of the roads in my glorious, swampy hometown of Secaucus are either closed or under construction. In turn, this makes getting on Route 3 more difficult than it needs to be.

The commute to Montclair State University is usually fine, unless of course someone who should have had their license revoked years ago causes an accident and major congestion on the highway.

The only decent thing to come from being late so often is developing an email relationship with your professors, who usually are fairly understanding, as they are also commuters to the campus.

A key part of embracing the role of a commuter is figuring out the best way to email your 8:30 a.m. professor saying, “Hey sorry, this road is congested with traffic with no notable movement for the next hour.”

The more contact and professionalism you have with your professors, the better off you are for the semester.

Once you get into the Montclair State area, there are several entrances to the university’s campus. If you decide to take backroads, be forewarned about one of the worst three-way intersections. With no signals, lights or traffic cops, it is an absolute nightmare to get through.

Despite all of my perceived negative attitudes toward commuting, there are several things I enjoy about it, the most relevant being that I am saving thousands of dollars by choosing not to dorm.

The lesser expense is accompanied by taking in the scenic views of Montclair State both coming into and leaving campus, especially during sunrises and sunsets. The commute can make you an impeccable driver and taking the train allows you to see places you may have never seen before. Just be careful to not fall asleep for too long or you may miss your stop.

One of the most impactful experiences of commuting is that it allows you to travel around in your free time, both on and off campus. It allows you to explore the world around you and make new memories.

Not living on campus provides an important aspect of learning and growing. It enables you to keep in touch with those from your hometown and other people close to you outside of college.

Although many commuters receive the scraps in terms of parking, what you have to appreciate is the cardio workout it nearly always provides you with. Walking around the hilly campus and climbing many flights of stairs to get from parking lots to the main campus helps to keep your calves in check.

The sleep deprivation and the horrible drivers around the area are not the most helpful for your health. In essence, they help teach the importance of time management as you usually have to wake up extra early to avoid traffic and find a decent parking spot before classes begin.

All in all, there are many pros and cons, but all the money that I save by not paying room and board makes it worth the commute.

Join the Conversation