Commuter Hacks: 4 Tips for Improving Your Commuter Experience

by John Montesi

There are a wide variety of reasons why students choose to commute instead of living on campus. Fortunately, if it’s more convenient for you to live elsewhere and travel a little farther to class, colleges offer resources that can make a big difference in improving your commuter experience.

Here are four tips (and resources) that can help make commuting to campus easier than ever.

1. Try to Arrive Early

This one may go without saying, but no matter where you’re commuting from, the more time you set aside to arrive, the better you’re likely to feel about your day! Between finding the perfect parking spot, accounting for extra traffic (or a quick coffee stop), and walking from your car to class, your life will be easier if you give yourself ample time to get where you need to go.

Plus, there are plenty of things to do on campus aside from running to and from class. Using your time to explore other buildings and meet new people can help you feel more at home.

2. Use All Available Resources

In addition to arriving early, try to make a point to use your time well. With access to snacks, coffee, lockers, and printing services, as well as study and lounging spaces, commuters can make the most of their days on campus.

Even if you live elsewhere, commuter-specific amenities can make it easy to call campus your second home. Spending time studying before (and between) classes can keep you in a productive rhythm throughout the entire day. And let’s face it—you’ll get your work done a lot faster in the library or a designated study space than you will when you’re surrounded by all the distractions of home. There’s no better feeling than being done with homework before you even hit the road!

3. Access All Student Resources (at Home and on Campus)

Colleges want their students to succeed, and many of them offer free resources to help everyone make the most of their academic experience. You don’t have to live on campus to benefit from these resources. With over a third of its student body living off-campus and commuting to class, Azusa Pacific University is very familiar with the unique needs of its commuter students.

In fact, APU’s libraries and Writing Center offer access to a wide variety of scholarly materials, research databases, and even free writing and editing assistance. What’s more, many of the resources are available to students electronically, which means you can find data to support your paper’s thesis—or get input from the Writing Center—while sitting at home.

4. Be a Part of Your School

The No. 1 tip for improving your commuter experience is to be a part of your school even if you don’t live on campus. Whether that means attending sporting events, planning to spend time on campus before and after classes, or just using more resources than simply sitting in class at designated times, college is a holistic experience.

From keeping your lunch in an on-campus fridge to utilizing the Office of the Communiversity (which helps facilitate commuter student activities and resources), there are plenty of ways you can make the most of your college experience at APU, no matter where you sleep at night. Being immersed in the various intellectual and social environments that college offers can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience, as long as you put in the effort!

Interested in becoming a part of the campus community at Azusa Pacific University? Get to know APU and apply today.