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Commuting students face unique challenges with inclement weather

Campus Correspondent

Published: Sunday, November 25, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08

While many high school graduates look forward to the move to college, experiencing life away from home for the first time, a significant number of students choose to commute to UConn. While the intention is typically to save funds that would be otherwise spent on campus housing and food, commuting does come with some significant setbacks and inconsistencies.

With winter just around the corner, prepared to unleash its worst, commuting students will have to deal with the elements in addition to the usual bump and grind of the daily traffic. More gas money will be spent to heat cars, and many commuters will surely need to keep ice scrapers handy. All of this compounds the always prevalent traffic encountered in the early mornings.

Third-semester neurobiology major Rachael O’Connell is not a fan of dealing with the traffic encountered while commuting to class. “Traffic is unpredictable, the roads are less than spectacular, and driving between 45 and 90 min to and from school daily gets old real quick.”
Another major inconvenience of commuting is precious study time wasted thanks to driving. While students living 5-10 minutes away will be largely unaffected, students who drive 45 minutes to an hour every day to school lose many invaluable hours of study time.

Third-semester exploratory student Nick DeVito said, “I think for me at least it has to do more with the fact that I lose that hour or so of studying daily due to driving every day, by the time I arrive home I either have work or very little time to study or take a break before going off to my other obligations.”
A lesser-known fact amongst applying students and new freshman is that students at regional campuses have the ability to take up to 50 percent of their classes at the main Storrs campus. However, parking can be quite a nuisance for these students since parking passes for regional campuses may only be used in W, C, and I lots at Storrs.

Despite all its drawbacks, commuting still stands as an attractive option for those trying to obtain a degree without breaking the bank. Despite the extraordinarily high cost of fuel, gas spent by commuters is nowhere nears the cost of on campus housing.

With the high cost of tuition and housing and the unlikelihood of it being lowered anytime soon, more and more UConn students may be turning to the cheaper option of commuting despite its drawbacks. Third-semester mechanical engineering major Kyle Donelan, an on-campus student, certainly is,
“I originally chose not to commute because I wanted to experience living on campus. However with rising housing costs, I am considering commuting next year to save money.”


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