Driving tricks new college commuters should know


You’ve been accepted to the college of your dreams and you’ve made the decision to commute rather than live on campus. This is becoming increasingly common for many new students, so they can save money on housing and food and still afford tuition. If this is the case for you, you’ll probably be commuting some way to campus, usually by car or public transport. While commuting is a frugal option, it does mean cutting into your personal free time. If you are driving yourself, this might be your first experience manoeuvring through morning and evening traffic. Be sure to mind these driving tricks and tips to make commuting as smooth as possible your first year.

Rush hours

Avoid rush hours at all costs. Even if it means getting to campus early and waiting around for a while, leave well before you need to in order to avoid needless traffic and potential car accidents. Make a friend on campus to get coffee with before class, or find a favourite quiet spot to unwind and study before classes in the morning. The last thing you want to do is talk to your insurance provider over the phone when you should be face-to-face with your statistics professor. If your afternoon class ends at 5pm, consider joining a club or extracurricular group to kill time and make friends simultaneously. Not only will it enrich your college experience, it’ll save you unnecessary stress on the road.

Alternate routes

Get familiar with back roads and alternate routes around campus. If you hear about a sudden accident on the radio, you’ll have more options to get to campus. Maybe there’s a popular event going on, like a basketball game, and the highways are jammed. Sporting event or not, you have an English lecture to get to. Knowing your way around will save you time and gas.

Reliable vehicle

Ensure whatever you’re driving is going to get you safely from point A to point B. Keeping up with maintenance is a must. If you’re driving a clunker, use some of the extra money you’re saving from room and board toward a car that you don’t have to worry about. Chances are the mileage will be better too.

Parking time

Build time to find good parking into your driving and commuting logistics. Learn the patterns of which lots fill up first. If your school charges to park, make a friend who lives off campus and park there. You can also take a shuttle or walk to class and save some cash. Ask some older students or faculty what they suggest since they’re probably old pros at parking and might have some good tips.

Paying attention to driving tricks and tips can save you time, money, and unnecessary stress during your first year commuting to college. Make some great playlists, find shades that you love, and buckle up for a great year. Your college career awaits!

Eileen O’Shanassy

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