Tips for the Wilkes commuter

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Commuters listen up! These tips and tricks will make your experience at Wilkes just as good as resident students.

You apply to college, get accepted and now you’re on to the greatest four to six years of your life. There’s only one thing. You won’t be living on campus. Instead, you’ll be residing at home and commuting—and also saving thousands of dollars on room and board. Regardless of the last point, some students find it difficult to have the “real” college experience while living the commuter lifestyle. Here are a few tips to ensure that your college experience is incredible regardless of where you call home.

Get involved and branch out: The best way to feel connected to campus is to get involved. Join clubs, activities and sports to meet new people. Club Day takes place during the second week of the Fall semester, so jot down your email for groups and see what suits you! Remember that on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am-1pm are club hours; take advantage of this time to branch out!

Go to campus happenings: Whether it’s sporting events, formals, or socials, be sure to check out the events on and near campus. Stop by the Student Development desk in the SUB for a list of activities that will be going on throughout the semester.

Find your place on campus: Be it the SUB lounge, the library, or outside, find a place on campus where you feel comfortable and can also be productive. You may not have a room you can go back to between classes, but you can make a piece of campus feel cozy to you.

Bring things to busy yourself: There’s nothing worse than having a four-hour break between classes with absolutely nothing to do. Be sure to bring extra homework to complete or a good book to read so you’re not tempted to ditch your last class and head home. Even if you have nothing to do, maybe get a group of friends together to go to Dunkin Donuts or grab lunch on the Square.

Budget your time: Make sure you have an idea of how long it takes you to get to campus from your house and leave extra time in case of traffic. It’s also not a bad idea to give yourself extra time the first week of each semester to find a parking spot and to know alternate parking options.

Get ready the night before: One key way to ensure that you get to campus on time is to pack your bag and get your belongings together the night before. As a commuter you don’t have the luxury of rolling out of bed and grabbing your things off the floor. By doing small things like this, your life will be a lot easier and you won’t have to feel rushed if you hit the snooze button once or twice.

Be prepared for NEPA weather: Too many times has the lone commuter shown up to class drenched from the unanticipated downpour. Many a commuter has had to use their body to remove snow from their windshield because of a flurry turned blizzard. Don’t be that commuter! Have an extra set of clothes and shoes in your car in the event of unruly weather. It’s also not a bad idea to keep an umbrella and snow scraper handy!

Cautiously plan your class schedule: While it’s not always possible to get the dream schedule, do your best to plan ahead. In the spring, it might be a good idea to avoid 8 a.m. classes, especially with poor weather conditions at the start of the semester.

You are part of this campus: Remember that you are as much a part of campus as those living in the residence halls. Take advantage of everything that’s available to you and make the most out of  your years here. The only difference between commuters and residents is that you get to sleep in your own bed and you probably don’t have to do your own laundry.