By Grant DeVivo
Every weekday, midnight is the same for me. I am lying in bed in my house in Westminster, MD, cooled down after a long shower but limp and exhausted after an everlasting day that includes classes, sports, and the most annoying part of it all: driving…way too much of it.
As I begin to doze off for the night ready to reboot for the next day, I am already dreading a process I know only too well: the cycle of commuting to school and then reversing the journey to get back home again.
Do you ever think about what it’s like to be a commuter? Here’s a hint, it’s a pain in the neck.
Let me take you through my life as a commuter student so you have an idea of why it ain’t as fun as it may seem.
Many days are nearly the same operation. I wake up around 9:05 am to my electrifying rock and roll anthem “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” by Aussie rockers AC/DC. Well, let me rephrase that: I let my alarm cycle through snooze a little bit before I wake up for good.
Once I am awake, I get myself ready to log into my lone online class of the semester: New Media Communication with the always adventurous Professor Verni. From 9:30 am to 10:45 am, half-awake me sits in my cold kitchen participating in class and hoping that the house puppy, Oliver, doesn’t cause any ruckus to take my attention away from the lecture. I wouldn’t have problems like these in a Stevenson dorm or even a study room in the MAC Building.
After class, I have about two to three hours to do whatever I want at home until it’s time to shower up and get going to campus. I could take a nap, do some homework, grab lunch, maybe even crank out a game or two on MLBTHESHOW. When it’s time, I begrudgingly start my annoying half-hour haul to Stevenson University though it is pleasantly interrupted by a coffee stop at Dunkin.
I am usually proud of myself when I get to campus for having survived Carroll County’s obnoxious drivers, the always busy MD-140, and the Owings Mills North parking lot that sees more drama than it probably should.
Classes are in session from 2:00 pm to 4:45 pm on most days. Think about all of that extra gas I am using to drive half an hour for just one if not two classes.
Once classes end, I choose how I want to spend my time before evening baseball practice with Stevenson Club Baseball starts at 7:30. While it is an option for resident students, being able to change clothes in a dorm restroom and lay down in a comfortable dorm bed is not an option for me. I am usually left to change clothes in a dirtier restroom somewhere on campus and search out a couch or table (that is hopefully clean) in the MAC building to do homework and eat dinner. Usually late in the evening, it is dead silence in the MAC building.
Yeah, that is my socialization in Mustang nation for the evening.
Baseball practice comes and goes, paving the way for the dreaded nighttime drive home around 11:00 pm. My eyes bloodshot from a long day’s work and my whole entire body ready to collapse, I haul myself down the highway through Hell again trying to avoid being pulled over by the surplus of police doing radar up and down the highway.
It is a sigh of relief when I get home safely and without a ticket. However, it is a groan of agony as I realize that the cycle repeats itself the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that.
Being a commuter student is not as convenient as it may seem, but I admit I chose this path. Am I proud of my choice? In the end, no. Why should I have to drive 30 minutes back and forth constantly, day-by-day for classes, sports, and even down time with friends? It would make sense to just get a dorm and walk or drive maybe a couple minutes to my destination, but no! I chose the hard way.
Let’s not forget how much gas money I am using, all of which is coming out of my pocket at least twice a week and all during a time where gas prices are through the roof. Let’s not forget how much gas and gas money I am using, all of which is coming out of my pocket at least twice a week and all during a time where gas prices are through the roof.
Often on I call myself a dummy for choosing such a stressful route. Well, at least I only have a few weeks left of commuting because I will be living on campus next year. For now, my miserable commuter soul lives in the shambles of my choice to commute.
I get it; you are probably asking why I chose this route if I hate it so much. Well, the bright side of my questionable choice is at least I saved a couple thousand bucks. I can be proud of myself for that.