Tips for Commuting to School

March 8, 2017

Hi there! Today I wanted to give some commuters great tips that I've learned from my very own twin sister who was a commuter for a semester. She commuted about 40 minutes to an hour outside of the city into Boston for school, so I asked her what her top tips we're when it came to making the drive in!
I got inspired to do this post because next year I'll be commuting into the city... which honestly I might end up crying about when the day comes because I love living in the heart of Boston, but a girl's gotta save her money! It's bitter sweet; bitter because I won't be living in Boston anymore but sweet because I get my own space again (like a room... with a door and everything!!) Anyways, here are the tips!

  1. "Always act like you're running late." My sister said this for her first tip and I laughed at first but honestly I can see how this can be helpful! I guess it's goes along with the saying "better safe than sorry" because it's always better to show up early than late!
  2. "Buy your tickets in advance." My sister used to take the bus into the city as well as the commuter rail and she'd buy most of her tickets in advance. This is a huge time saver. A lot of public transportation has options to buy tickets online or through an app- so I'd definitely do some research on your local transportation methods and look through their websites!
  3. "Schedule your classes around traffic." My sister and I actually had a class together last semester while she was a commuter and a lot of the times she'd have to let our professor know in advance that she was running late due to traffic (most of the time professors are pretty forgiving about this if they know you're a commuter) because our class was during the PRIME TIME of early morning rush hour. She'd leave the house around 6:50 am and wouldn't make it into the city until around 9:30 am.  So try your hardest to get your classes in the later afternoons or evenings to avoid morning rush hours. *Also, definitely make sure to talk to your professor about how you're a commuter and let them know that you might be late on some days due to traffic. I'm going to ask for all of my teachers phone numbers so I can shoot them a text on days that traffic is bad and I know that I'm going to be late.*
  4. "Take weather into account." The weather app will be your best friend when you're a commuter for a number of reasons. First, when there is rain in the forecast, people all of sudden forget how to drive and your commute will increase by probably 35-40 minutes. So on those days, think of the best possible transportation method, you could take the commuter rail instead of the bus because theres less chance of let's call it.. human error. In addition, it's important to look into the weather to plan your outfits. Snow, rain, sleet, hail all require a certain kind of article of clothing so dress accordingly! Odds are if you are commuting you won't have a chance to get into your wardrobe and dress into something warmer etc. so definitely bring a change of something with you! I'd bring:
    • An extra pair of leggings
    • Some comfy sneaks or flats
    • A sweatshirt 
    • On rainy days I'll probably wear rain boots and a raincoat
    • Bring a hair brush
    • Blanket scarf in the winter months
    • If you've never heard of this Lo and Sons handbag; it's an incredible commuter bag that is the modern day Mary Poppins bag- it can hold SO much like your laptop, books, shoes, and so much more. Definitely worth the investment!
  5. "Do homework during breaks." I know that as a commuter, there will definitely be a period of downtime where I have nothing to do; so my sister suggests going to the library and banging out some homework and projects. It'll save you time from doing your homework when you get back home late at night and give you more time for those ZZZ's.
  6. "Take advantage of your time in the city." This tip is one that I came up with. I have two jobs in the city so I know that on days that I have school I'll be working right after my classes end so that I can wait out the night time rush hour traffic (while also making that $$$). I used to commute over my school breaks and on the nights that I closed our bus driver would zip right back home in no kidding like less than 40 minutes. It was great!
  7. "Bring food & lunches to save money." For me, I'm not a huge fan of having to blow all my money on food (especially since the cost of living in Boston is so high), so I'll definitely be preparing food the night before and bringing filling snacks to eat throughout the day. My favorite healthy food gal to look up to is Shannon Sullivan, she always has a ton of healthy, gluten free food recipes that I can't wait to try out. 
I hope these tips help you to make your commute less stressful!
-Amanda Carmela

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