Commuter Life: Live and Forget (Everything)

-Staff Photo/Justin Decker

It happened again today. I forgot something after I left for class. With my three classes and the hours of inconvenient time gaps between them, an advisor meeting and a work obligation all jammed into my day, I knew there would be something I’d leave behind. My weeks have become a cycle of forgetfulness and poor foresight. And as I’m sure many of my fellow commuters know, it’s exhausting.

I make the 20-minute drive back to my house once again in my 2006 Honda Accord. I’m no longer embarrassed, or even cognizant of the large gaping hole my older brother mysteriously placed on the left-side of the front bumper on this reliable but well-used hand-me-down. Being that it’s pushing 200,000 miles, I wonder if this trip will be the time it finally dies on me. Thankfully, it doesn’t.

So it goes, on my way home to grab a textbook that I had forgotten. Another drive just to run to my room and steal the book away from its overpriced, hardcover companions. I throw it in the back seat of the Honda with reckless strength.

My near half-hour haul is an awkward in-between. Anyone who lives no more than a 10-mile drive away from campus knows the strife our long-distance relationship with home is. It’s something that does not require much premeditation to go about the day, but it does put you in that awful universe of stoplights, scarce parking and long treks to class.

Why pack a lunch when you can just run home real quick?

Being that I lived smack in the middle of campus freshmen year, I am aware of the difference a short commute to school makes. Living in an outdated dorm with hundreds of other rowdy and immature freshmen right across from the Rec Center had its down sides, of course, but being equidistant from everything was so convenient. I could practically fall out of bed and land in the Marketplace.

But making a trip home every day adds up. The first time was to recover the lost textbook. The second was to avoid throwing my money in the bottomless but delicious well that is Wawa.

The take away here is, mitigate your trips back and forth. Pack lunch if you’re on a budget, don’t buy it. Bring a change of clothes if you plan on occupying friend’s living room for the night. Carry your gym bag with you so you can avoid twiddling your thumbs during that awkward two-hour gap between class and go to the gym instead. Sure you might look like a Sherpa, loaded up with all that stuff, but it sure beats making the same tedious trip home yet again.

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