Tips on Commuting from Home: Living With Family
For Traditional aged students (18-22) commuting from home is great on the pocketbook, but it can be challenging. You may need to have a discussion with your family about how much time you will be studying (about 2-3x the amount of time you might have spent in high school), as well as conversations about family chores and returning to campus for studying, socializing, and attending events.
For adult students and students with children carving out family time, personal time, and study time might be a challenge. Adult students and student with children may also need to sit down with family and talk about expectations – about chores, family time, and time to do homework and study. Setting aside specific times when you will study is also a good idea. If you have siblings or children having a group study hour gives everyone a chance to work on their studies together. Also, don’t forget that Campus Activities and Programs looks for programming that can be designated as family-friendly. When students with family see that designation it can be a great way to combine family time and spend more time on campus connecting with other students, faculty and staff – big bonus!
Commuter Time Management
Commuters will need to really hone those time management skills. If a student is commuting over major highways or thoroughfares they will have to plan for traffic accidents, construction slowdowns, and weather related road conditions. It is not just the time to campus students have to plan for, but also the time to get from the parking lot to the classroom. Students parking in the E Park ‘n Ride lot will need to plan for the shuttle time to campus and the time to walk from the shuttle stop to the classroom. If students need to leave campus to pick up children or go to work then planning the time it takes to reverse the process from classroom to parking lot will be important.
Commuters and Work
Many commuter students work at least 20 hours a week, and some even more. If you are in a minimum wage job already consider getting a job on campus. There are many work-study funded positions and regular wage positions on campus. Most offices are very flexible and will work around your schedule, so if students have an hour break here and two hours they may be able to put in 15-20 hours on campus and have the added benefit of interacting with faculty, staff, and other students. The more time commuters can spend on campus the greater satisfaction they have with their collegiate experience.
Places to Hang out on Campus Between Classes
There are lots of places on campus where you can curl up and study, relax, or meet up with friends. The Elliott University Center has three floors with plenty of lounges and seating areas. The Bryan Business Building 1st Floor Au Bon Pain food court is another great place – there is even a study lounge in the back. The Library has quiet floors (6-9) and social floors (1-5) as well as group and individual study rooms.
Beyond the weather, campus safety, transportation, parking and eating on campus. Here is more information to help commuter students navigate the campus community.
Flex Dollars & Spartan Cash
Students can add money to the SpartanCard for two different purposes. Adding a commuter Flex plan will give students an opportunity to eat at any of the on-campus dining venues and get food from our campus Flex Partners like Mimi’s Kitchen, East Coast Wings, Ghassan’s, and Papa John’s on Spring Garden tax free. Spartan Cash is a line of credit on your SpartanCard that lets you purchase things from the Bookstore, make copies in the Library, on-campus vending machines, and more – though you are charged tax.
Utilizing Campus Resources
Several campus resources are really accessible for commuters.
- Jackson Library has 24/5 access Sunday – Thursday. It is also food and beverage friendly so you can eat and study or work in the Library.
- The Writing and Speaking Center have evening hours during the week and are open on Sunday afternoons into the early evening. Both offices also have online consultation, so if you aren’t scheduled to be on campus for classes on a day you need help – you can contact them online!
- Campus Rec allows student members to bring parents, spouses/lifemates, and children to the Rec Center on weekends beginning Friday at 5 p.m. So busy commuters who want to spend time with family can enjoy family recreation time on campus together.
- Students can request tutors through the Learning Assistance Center; as well as study groups, and supplemental instruction review sessions for certain courses
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