Ah, commuting to college . . .
“You should have taken the T!” my friend told me as she suppressed her giggles. I walked into the lobby of Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, previously known as SMG, soaking wet. My jeans stiff with water and my shoes squeaking, I made my way up the grand staircase to accounting.
I left my dorm at 10:15 that morning, giving myself 45 minutes to get to my class, which was approximately 1.1 miles away. I was braced with my plaid Izod raincoat and black rain boots, but apparently that was not enough.
Between the wind, the rain, and the rush of cars that I had to pass while walking down Commonwealth Avenue, I was drenched. The rain had soaked through my pants and my jacket, and I was ready for the day to be over.
The Trials and Tribulations of Commuting to College
As winter approaches, one of the biggest obstacles students across America face — especially in northern regions — is finding the best method of commuting to college.
College students face thousands of life-changing decisions each school year.
Although figuring out how to get to and from class may not seem all that important, I can assure you it is.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to commuting to college:
- The college transportation system
- Your own car
- Bring-your-own wheels
The College Transportation System
Most college campuses provide some sort of transportation system. But speaking from experience, I know that these are not the most convenient methods of commuting to college. They’re often jam-packed with students, or else “out of service” right when you’re running late.
Your Own Car
“Why didn’t you just bring your car up to school with you?” my friend asked me. She goes to Binghamton in New York state. She lives in an off-campus apartment and can park her car in her building's parking garage. I, on the other hand, am stuck trying to find a place to put my bike without somebody stealing my seat.
Many people don’t understand that parking is not usually guaranteed when you’re a full-time student at a college or university.
Parking can cost an exorbitant amount, and it’s often extremely difficult to find, depending on your school.
Many of my friends who have cars at school take the risk of parking by meters during class time. They just hope they will make it out of class in time to put more quarters in the machine.
Seasonal weather is another factor when bringing a car to campus. Although driving keeps you warm during the winter, it’s also extremely inconvenient when you stall in 15 inches of snow. This is something I’ve seen far too many times while making my way to class.
Of course, students in Los Angeles or Florida don’t have to worry about this — though traffic or hurricanes present their own problems.
There is another method of commuting to college. With the click of a button, Uber will be at your door within seven minutes and bring you directly to your classroom.
While you’re in the toasty warmth of Inez’s Toyota Camry, you watch your classmates brace themselves against the wind and think how lucky you are. That is, until you get your receipt. You failed to notice the 1.5x surge rate when you ordered your Uber.
You didn’t know that there were over 50 other students in your building alone who had the same thought process as you, and therefore, Uber jacked up the prices for an hour, as everyone and their mothers had requested an Uber to get to class.
Your short 1.1-mile walk to class cost you a grand total of $27.53. “Oh well, it’s just one time,” you think.
Then we have those who will brace themselves against all odds — the true heroes, as I like to call them. The bikers, skaters, scooter-ers . . . These people will stop at nothing to take their wheels to class.
There could be a storm outside, but I guarantee that you’ll still see that boy with his Razor scooter making his way to class. These people seem to have their lives figured out in a way that makes me envious and also scared.
And they’re certainly saving money. Scooters sell for as low as $26 on Amazon. And while bicycles can cost over a hundred dollars, they’re still far cheaper than cars. Besides, commuting to college by bike or scooter can build muscles.
The biggest risk is having those beloved wheels stolen. “My bike seat — it’s gone! Who would steal a bike seat at 10:30 in the morning? Why did no one stop them?” one of my friends demanded one cold fall morning after he noticed that his beloved bike was missing an extremely significant component. I guess the risk is worth the rush.