A male driver in a car on the highway with directions pulled up on his phone

14 Struggles All Commuter Students Will Relate To

1. Being surrounded by bad drivers

These become your biggest pet peeve every time you’re on your way to and from college. Those ridiculously slow drivers who convince you that you’ll be late if you don’t get out from behind them right now, idiots who switch lanes without a signal and make you fear for your life, the speedy zig-zaggers who weave in and out of lanes like they’re in a “Fast and Furious” movie…you’ve seen them all and HATE THEM ALL.

2. Traffic


GIF of a busy highway

3. Getting to class is a whole ordeal

You have to wake up much earlier and leave early so you can budget for travel time, potential traffic, parking, and actually walking to the class. Meanwhile, your on-campus classmates can roll out of bed, grab some breakfast, and be at class in about half your time.

GIF of Lucille Ball with her hands on her head, moving right and left with her mouth open in frustration

4. If you forget something, good luck.

The biggest downside of living off campus is always when you forget something at your place. There is no running back to the dorm and grabbing whatever it is you’ve forgotten.

GIF of a camera zooming in a woman's "oh no" face with the text "When you already left your house and realized you forgot something"

5. It can be harder to make friends

Because a) you don’t live on campus, and b) you tend to be busy outside of class, there’s not always as much time to make friends when you’re a commuter. When all the people you meet either live in different cities or live on-campus, it can be harder to make friends to regularly hang out with. But the friends you do make? Now those are some solid relationships.

GIF of a guy saying to the camera "Do you wanna be my friend?"

6. Constantly filling up on gas

Weren’t you just at the gas station yesterday? No, wait, that was last week…now if only these prices would go down *serious side-eye at the gas industry.*

GIF of Beebo the Brendon Urie puppet (from the "Hey Look Ma I Made It" music video) pumping gas

7. It can be harder to partake in on-campus activities

Joining a group, activity, Greek life, etc. can be harder when you don’t live right there. You have to make the extra commutes just to be a part of events.

GIF of Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) saying "I'm not involved!"

8. Having to bring food with you…or pay ridiculous prices for on-campus food

Campus food is ridiculously pricey. Let’s recall that our money needs to go towards gas, plus groceries/bills/rent if you have an off-campus place.

GIF of Patrick Star eating

9. All your money goes towards gas and parking

And we all know how expensive those can get. Speaking of parking…

GIF of John Travolta's Pulp Fiction looking around moment while "standing" into an empty wallet
Your wallet after spending all your earnings on necessities like gas and food.


If you don’t get to campus at the start of the day, it’s a serious struggle to find a parking spot in the garages. That ish can turn into the freaking Hunger Games over finding a spot—and when you do, getting to it before someone else does. And thanks to this, you have to budget an extra 5-10 minutes into travel time to campus. All this BS for the insane amount parking passes cost.

GIF of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in "The Hunger Games" running in the battlefield

11. You try your best to avoid long breaks between classes

Unfortunately, this sometimes becomes unavoidable. Cue the unwanted extra time at school in the library with those handy snacks you brought along.

GIF of Max from "A Goofy Movie" shaking his head and throwing his hands up, then putting his head in his hands in frustration

12. The wait between selecting classes and actually enrolling is THE WORST

You have to schedule your classes around driving time and/or shuttle times, on top of leaving time to work. Waiting to finally enroll is significantly more nerve-wracking than it can feel when you live on campus.

GIF of Sutton Foster as Fiona in Shrek: the Musical singing "And the waiting, the waiting, the waiting, the waiting..."

13. It’s harder to be in the know about on-campus happenings

Unless someone tells you about it, you happen to see a flyer on-campus, or you’re in a Facebook group for your class at the college, you tend to miss out on a lot of on-campus things.

GIF of Jake (Andy Samberg) on Brooklyn 99 saying "What. Is. Happening."

14. You sometimes feel like you may be missing out on the full college experience

Sure, it may be more cost-effective to live at home or have an off-campus place. But you’re not having the typical experience high school and entertainment media has hyped up over the years. You don’t get to just roll out of bed and walk to class, hang out in the dining halls with your campus friends, and become besties with your freshman roommate. (Not that the latter is a bad thing since it doesn’t actually always happen. Trust me.) Your days aren’t spent in the library or chilling in a campus building doing your homework, because you probably have to work outside of classes and let’s not forget commuting time.

GIF of Chandler looking mopily out a rainy window

BUT. Just because you’re not having the typical “college experience,” doesn’t mean your experience is any less valid. It certainly doesn’t mean that your experience is any better or worse than that of the people living on campus.

Here’s to the commuter life!

*Originally posted on Odyssey


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