The reality of commuting to campus

Nelida Insua-Coelho/Staff Writer

Even though commuting to campus isn’t an exact science, calculations need to be made to make it to class on time. Driving in Miami is not easy, and doing it far from campus makes it a daily task.

I live in Broward, and I proudly use Google Calendar to save me when I’m working and will most likely lose track of time. Google Calendar reminds me two hours prior to class that I have to leave, depending on the settings I put on the event notification.

I can confess that I’ve put reminders every hour and even the day before that I have class because taking five classes, working as a production assistant, being the Vice President of a club on campus and getting anything else done takes up way too much time. If I don’t leave my house on the days that I’m home an hour and fifteen minutes earlier, there’s a big chance I won’t make it on time.

And as if commuting from home isn’t tough enough, commuting from work in Miami to campus is even harder. Let’s face it, Florida drivers are terrible, but there’s a difference when coming down to campus from Broward. As a commuter, I’ve had to create a schedule. Driving to and from Miami is no easy task, so planning my days out is an absolute must.

I decided to live at home while getting my bachelor’s, and while it has its ups and downs, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I come from Venezuela where it’s common to live with our parents while we pursue our careers. Leaving home at 18 to college or university isn’t a thing. Staying at home has let me spend as much time as I can with my mom even though, with school and work, it’s extremely hard. As much as I work to advance in my career and accomplish my goal of graduation with a bachelor’s degree, I grew up with just my mom so leaving home didn’t really catch my eye for too long.

Don’t get me wrong, I live exactly thirty three miles away from campus. That translates into thirty seven minutes of driving to or from my house to campus when there’s no traffic, and when there is traffic, Waze is my lifesaver to reduce my time on the road. There are days that I wonder what it would be like to live on campus, walk to class, live alone, do my thing and just go home for the weekends.

It sounds very attractive, but no thanks.

Driving has a major environmental impact from carbon emissions and the dependence on fossil fuels, but living at home has given me more experience with learning how to pay for my own bills and how to run a house. Living at home has also kept me close to my mom and golden retriever Joy, and I get to share my success on a daily basis with my mom. Coming home to her and telling her my accomplishments for the day beats living on my own, and I do know that it restricts me from having full freedom in my 20s.

But, sticking to my culture and family keeps me going when it all gets to be too much.

Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash.

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