According to the 2015 – 2016 enrollment at the University of Toronto, there were a total of 86,709 students across all 3 campuses.
But how many of these students had the opportunity to live on residence?
In terms of residence accommodation,
The St. George campus can hold 6,572 students.
The Mississauga campus can hold 1,544 students.
And the Scarborough campus can hold 767 students.
Let’s take a second to do some quick calculations…this means that there are an astounding 77,826 students who DO NOT LIVE ON CAMPUS.
I was one of those 77,826 students in the 2015-2016 school year who had to face the dreaded fate of…COMMUTING. TO. SCHOOL.
Whether you’re taking public transit or driving a car,
it is important to plan each stage of your commute.
One and a half years of riding that 101 express bus later, I have compiled some fool proof tips on how you can make the most out of your university commute!
How to Prepare for the Commute:
OPTIMIZE SLEEP BY PREPARING THE NIGHT BEFORE.
Unfortunately, the consequence of commuting is waking up early. In order to wake up in a good mood, you must optimize your sleep. Preparing your outfit, your lunch and your back pack the night before instead of in the morning can save you that extra half hour wrapped in the warm comfort of your blankets.
The worst thing you can discover in the middle of your hour long commute, is that you have forgot your assignment, project, or study notes at home. While you prepare the night before, make a list of all the things you need for the next day at school.
My suggested method of list making: create headings for each of your COURSES and a final heading for OTHER. Under each course, list what is necessary and due for the day. Underneath OTHER, include items like gym clothes, professor office hours etc.
PACK A LUNCH TO SAVE $$ FOR GAS.
If you’re commuting by car, your wallet cries every time you have to fill your tank with gas. Cut back your spending on simple things so you can save up money for the commute. Something as easy a packing a homemade lunch instead of buying from the vendors at school can mend your wallet’s broken heart.
PLAN TO COMPLETE HOMEWORK AT SCHOOL
Commuting cuts into your time both in the morning and at night. By the time you get home from class at night, you may not want to stay up to finish your seven page essay. Instead, head to sleep, set your alarm earlier and plan to complete some homework at the school library.
CHECK THE BUS SCHEDULE AND SHOW UP EARLY.
Public transit is not always consistent. Buses can come up to 5 minutes earlier than scheduled.Check the bus times and show up to the stop early. For those commuters in Mississauga, using the Miway Trip Planner is a great way to stay on top of your travels.
RUN FOR THE BUS!
Although it’s tempting when you’re late, running after the bus is dangerous.Once the bus is in motion the likelihood that the driver will stop is slim. Trust me, I know. Also, just be aware that everyone on the bus can see you sprinting with your 10lb school bag on your back. (NOT CUTE!)
UNDERESTIMATE THE TRAFFIC AND TRANSIT DELAYS!
Unexpected delays can happen. Don’t leave at the last possible minute because you may be late for class… or even worse a test.
What to Do During Your Commute:
If your commute is long, there is no better time to get ahead (or catch up… no judgement) on your readings. Commuting is also an optimal time to squeeze in some last minute studying.
CARPOOLING IS COOL.
Make friends with people who may be going to the same destination and organize a carpool schedule. This can include splitting money for gas, which can leave you with more spending money to try the new burrito place at school.
OPTIMIZE COMFORT BY AVOIDING RUSH HOUR
What’s worse than having to stand in a crammed bus smelling B.O from the sweaty armpits of the person beside you? ANSWER: Nothing! Catching the bus even 10 minutes earlier than normal can earn you a comfortable seat on the bus.
After Your Commute:
MAKE FRIENDS WHO LIVE ON RESIDENCE.
This is the secret to successfully executing those late nights on campus. The nights where it’s WAY too late to get home because the buses have stopped running. Meet people who live on res! After all, nothing bonds two people more than a sleepover.
So go on, make the most of your stressful commute. You better hurry because I heard the bus comes in 5 minutes!
What do you do to make your daily commute bearable? What happens when you miss the bus? Tell me about your travels in the comments!
And remember, there is life beyond the textbooks too,