Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Life as a UT Dallas Commuter

By Thuy Trinh, Guest Blogger

When I was in high school, I always thought my life in college would be easy and fun. I would live in a dorm with my best friends and easily walk across campus to go to my classes every day. I would have water fights with the students in my dorm building and have the perfect college experience. So you must understand my surprise when I discovered that I had to commute since the school I chose to attend  (UT Dallas obviously) was too close to home to live on campus, and it would save my parents and me a lot of money.

As I commute to UT Dallas this semester, I have learned that along with some benefits there were many challenges that a commuter must face. Parking for one is such a pain! I usually arrive at school around 9:45 a.m. and the best parking that I can get is around the Clark Center, but every time I get to school, it is always taken. Every single slot! So I have to park all the way in the back next to the soccer fields, and the walk to my class is about 15 minutes if I speed walk. I have to arrive before nine just to get  decent parking.

The next challenge is traffic, which is partially my fault. My first class is at 10 a.m., and as we all know the traffic on I-635 is chaotic. It usually takes me 30 minutes to get to school and only 15 to 20 minutes to get home. I now know to choose my class times wisely where there won’t be as much traffic on I-635.

The biggest obstacle I face as a commuter is that I don’t get to participate in as many school events as students who live on campus. I usually don’t feel like driving so far just for an event whereas if I were living on campus, I could just walk across the street. I feel like I am missing out on the college experience.

With all my complaining about the difficulty of being a commuter, you probably think that it is the worst thing in the world, and you’re glad to be living on campus. But there are actually a lot of benefits as well.

I never, and I repeat never, have to cook. I always have a good home-cooked meal. My parents fill my gas for me. I’m not in any college debt. And the best thing about commuting is that I never get home sick. I know that once college is over, I have to venture out into the world and make my own living, so I actually am not in a rush to move out yet.

I appreciate the time I have at home with my parents for I know that many kids are in a rush to move out without knowing that in the future they won’t get the opportunity to spend more time with their family. In my EPPS class, I have learned that a lot of students miss being at home and get taken care of by their parents, which makes me even more appreciative of the time I have with them. 

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