Life as a commuter during a pandemic

By Andrew Kang
April 29, 2021

When the pandemic first hit the U.S, students had to transition from in-person classes to online courses. This occurred during the second semester of my freshman year at Cabrini University. It was clear that the school was not prepared for this considering there were many problems with their virtual online class app, Blackboard Collaborate. I believe this transition sort of gave every student a sense of a commuter’s lifestyle. 

There wasn’t a particular reason why I decided to start commuting. My social life was better on campus as I met new friends including my roommates. But it was announced by the school that all classes would be online. I didn’t see this news as a negative thing, but more like an opportunity to save some cash. My time on campus was memorable but Cabrini’s tuition is expensive.

Photo by Pixalbay

This wasn’t an easy decision considering that I had commuted to school before, during the first semester of my freshman year. I live approximately an hour away from campus, so this meant I had to force myself to wake up at 6:30 a.m. every day to travel to campus where I would stay until 7:30 p.m. which is when my mom got off work to pick me up.

Living as a commuter without a car was depressing. It felt like I was trapped at school. Over time, my commuting life started to affect me negatively. I became more insecure and some days I would just sit on a bench for hours. Luckily after pleading with my mom for a while, she gave me a choice. Either I could continue my commuting lifestyle with the car or I could start living on campus. I wasn’t the best driver at the time so driving two hours back and forth wasn’t an option for me. Having all this happen in my freshmen year, I wasn’t certain if commuting again would be what is best for me.

In the end, I’m glad that I made the decision to commute this year, I believe the pros outweigh the cons. There are many benefits to commuting with all online classes besides the cheaper tuition. One of my biggest goals this year was to get physically bigger and stronger. This goal of mine was influenced by my twin brother Anthony, a heavy equipment engineer operator for the Marine Corps.

The biggest challenge of this goal was putting on weight and I knew that it wasn’t going to happen if I stayed at school. In reality, I didn’t gain any extra weight during my semester on campus. This may be because my knowledge in the gym was poor and my diet consisted of whatever the cafeteria was serving. However, this changed when I started to commute. With the ability to control my diet and travel to a better gym, I was able to put on 15 pounds. Although this goal of mine is still far from over, the slow progress has driven me to stay consistent. 

I would say the absolute worst part about commuting is the fact that I’m far from school without my classmates or roommates, which has made me lose the grit to get my work done at its best. I’ve been less motivated to finish my work as each week goes by because I feel like most days are the same.

As a student in college, I should be interested in my classes but I find myself hoping more and more for this semester to be over. Ultimately I believe that the will to finish my schoolwork is challenging when I’m not surrounded by the campus lifestyle. 



Andrew Kang

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