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The Importance of Commuting in Earnest

Posted on: May 26, 2011

Joanna Danielak completed her studies at Cerritos College in spring 2010. She transferred to UCLA in fall 2010, where she is majoring in English.

I’ve really hit a wall in regards to time management.  I am finding it ridiculous and nearly impossible to commute to school (usually one hour and then some minutes), go to class and/or work, commute home (another hour and thirty minutes – oh 5 freeway how I loathe and despise you!), and then be expected to have any stamina left to read the hundred or so pages a night average I’ve amassed.  I do suppose that this is part of the load that an English major must take on; I can’t say that I was unaware that actual READING would be involved.  Sometimes the reading are tedious and a chore to get through, but then sometimes an assignment will come along that really stands out (in a good way).  For example, I think I have discovered a personal, previously unrealized, love for Oscar Wilde. And I now realize that it is the assignment that results in personal discovery that really makes all of this worthwhile.

The commute issue is not something that can be so easily remedied.  Sometimes, I wake up and feel this overwhelming urge to just roll over and not go to school that day.  I recognize that this is a familiar feeling to students and workers the world over, and I remember having that exact same feeling while attending Cerritos.  The difference now is that I have this mental image of freeways backed up with cars at a standstill that strengthens the case for staying home.  Often, when caught in these afternoon traffic jams, I just want to scream and get out of the car and walk home because it just might be quicker.  Obviously, I’ve never actually done that, but I’ve come to believe that if you want to attend a school with a commute, that you figure out your threshold for the extremes of L.A. traffic.

Is it possible to deal with the daily stress of traffic that moves too slowly, or conversely, traffic that moves too quickly (and results in those guys that tailgate the heck out of you just because your car doesn’t accelerate fast enough)?  Is it actually feasible to go to school and still have time to study (and have a life) with the amount of time spent in transit?  Is the amount of money saved by not having to pay monthly dorm/apartment rent worth the cost of gas and your sanity?

In addition to this, the question of the “campus experience” comes to mind.  I am definitely feeling disconnected from my fellow Bruins, mostly because I have no time to partake in campus life.  Clubs meet while I’m in class or in the evening when all I want is to make it home before 6:30.  Sometimes, they meet on weekends, but I’m not going to sacrifice a day from my weekend to make that drive when it’s not necessary.  I figure that once I lighten my class load, I’ll sign up for an activity here or there.  Or maybe I’ll just suck it up and stay on campus long after my classes end for the day.  Who knows.

So another question you must ask yourself is: how integral to my experience are the extracurricular activities offered by the university?  If the answer is “very,” then something is definitely going to have to give.  In my case, I chose the commute, and I intend to stick with this decision (for all my complaining).  It’s definitely a personal choice; being able to sit at home and eat dinner with my parents almost every night makes the hellish traffic well worth it, and I have another year to get to know the school even better.

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22 Responses to "The Importance of Commuting in Earnest"

This sounds very familiar, It is hard to wake up in the mornings and go to class. I could relate to this because there are days when I do want to go home and give up, but that would be a waste of time. I’m a freshman in Cerritos College and I’m planning to transfer to a UC but find it difficult to study at times. I would procastinate and leaves things to end and I’m learning to manage my time. School and daily life sometimes can be very difficult especially when over whelmed, by reading your article and it seems that I’m not alone and I have to become an Intelligent student by taking time for my studies. It is very inspiring how you over camed your obstacles and your attending UCLA, congraduatlations!
Joanna Danielak

I can relate to this article in a couple ways. I find it very hard to wake up in the mornings. I am very fortunate though that i do not have to take a freeway to school, because Cerritos is just down Alondra from where I live. I find it very hard to study sometimes and wish I had more time to study, but sometimes i feel under pressure with work and everything.

This article inspires me about managing my time for studying. Once getting started for school, I find managing time is the most important thing to me as well as other students in order to achieve. Giving time for yourself to study such as practicing,studying everyday will help you recall your old knowledges, keep track on your progress, and develop your new knowledges and new skills.

I understand how hard it is because im not able to see my parents at night because i get out of wrestling practices so late. It is also really hard to find time have time to myself with school, work, homework, practice and friend and no family life because there schedule is like a hour ahead of mine

I could relate to this article because I myself commute to go to school. I live in Carson, which is about 15-20min drive on the freeway. Luckily, the time I have class there is no traffic. Just like everybody, there are times where I just want to lay in bed and find it sooo hard to get up but if you’re doing something for your own future; you’re motivated to practically doing anything to reach your goal. I belive time management is one of the important things everyone needs to master.

I can relate to this article as well. I also do not like waking up so early for school but have manage to do so. As far as the freeway issue, I also take the freeway but have not had an issue with that yet. When I take the freeway it usually runs at a fair speed. I do however wish i lived next door so that i wouldnt have to wake up so early.I also would like to transfer although Im afraid to be suffering like you with a lot of work and no free time.

Time management is very important when it comes to school; blending in together to make a successful student. However, i agree with your comment, it is very hard to have a social life while in college. This is my first year at Cerritos College so far i have found very difficult to spend time with friends or with family. About the freeway, in the morning the freeway runs at a good speed so i don’t really have a problem with that. Transferring is my main goal an i plan to accomplish it by managing my time correctly and staying focused in school.

Your stoary is inspiring to me because i feel the same way you do. Waking up early in the morning to get ready for class and then drive to school. I’ve also had those days where you don’t want to go to school and just get a few more mintues of sleep. I just hope i can manage time aswell as you did.

Waking up in the morning is my hardest challenge! i can relate your story in many ways and i think that many college students who have to wake up early and drive can relate to your story too.

I can also relate to this article because i also find it hard to wake up in the morning. Most of the time when i wake up i feel like going back to sleep, but I’ve been learning to manage my time better so i get enough rest. And for me the freeway is not that bad because their is not much traffic in the morning when i go to class.

I find this article very overwhelming, because I know how it feels to be in a situation where its hard to manage time. I have had moments where i don’t have time to do anything or having to deal with waking up in the morning, but i know by taking things slow i can be successful like Joanna Danielak and always plan ahead.

This article is so much what I’m dealing with right. Struggling to wake up on time to make it to my 7am class and stay there till 3:30 is very hard specially when I have other classes to do study for or do homework. Sometimes I have to wait a long time for someone to pick me up since I am unable to drive at the moment. But i think so far im coping with all this time changing really well.

Hi Joanna,

I can definitely relate to you about the commute issue! I live 40mins away from Cerritos and I just find the travel so frustrating. But like you, I feel like it’s worth it. I really like my school and I push myself to work harder because my mentality is to do well so that the gas money and the time I take to get to Cerritos, will be the cherry on top when I pass my classes. I can see how you really like spending time with your family. I’m also trying to manage my time properly and set time for studying.

I can relate to this article, because this is what I am going through school, work, church I have a lot in my plate. All I want to do is sleep, and I am glad I don’t really have to deal with traffic but I bet is very hard!! Good luck with everything!!(:

I do the same thing in the morning. I have to get up super early for class and all I want to do is keep sleeping. Especially since I get off work the night before really late. I do take the freeway to school, but its so early there’s no traffic. What I do that works best for me is keeping a planner in my phone. I keep track of when I have work, school, and assignment. It helps me manage my time better.

I can relate to this article in many ways. I know the feeling of waking up in the morning and not wanting to go to school and just wanting to go back to sleep but I know I got important things to take care of so thats what helps me to start my day. As far as the traffic jams I cant really complain because the freeways are always empty when Im on my way to class.

I can relate to this article. I do not like waking up in the morning. I realize that i have school and my hard work will pay off. That is what helps me get out of bed in the morning. The trafiic isn’t really bad in the morning but around noon the freeway is jammed

This article is really interesting, I think the almost every student suffer a situation like this. I relate this article with my life style in USA, I do not like to wake up early but I think it is not my real problem it comes beyond. My huge problem is the language, sometimes i really can not understand any thing in English, but my wish of be able to understand 100 % English is even more. Sometimes, I want to give up and go back to Mexico, but articles like this one makes me think that everything is possible if I want it. Congratulations!!!

I can relate to this article because of my hectic schedule. Also, i don’t like waking up early , but i just motivate my self to work hard to reach my goal. managing my time its extremely important to me so that i can get my work done on time. Every minute in our lives has a valuable, that’s why we should not waste time and try to mange our times.

I found this very informative,its tuff for me to wake up in the morning but cerritos isnt to far from where i live,roughly 15 to 20 minutes which makes it easy to get here everyday,I need mire time to study but i will work on that,thank you for posting this!

I’m glad that you’ve made a choice that your happy with. Thank goodness I don’t have to make such a hard decision, but I’d like to think
that somethings are worth the sacrifice.I hope someday you get the
college experience you want.

I fully understand what you mean about time management. I go to school and work. I also live on my own so having a job is a must. I have to work full-time in order to support myself and be able to pay my schooling. I decided to get the earliest classes i can get. My everyday schedule is wake up at 5 in the morning get out of school the latest by 10:30 go to work and by home by maybe 10pm or sometimes 1am. In between it takes me almost an hour to drive to school, about 40min to get to work from school, and work to home is about another 40 min. Not to mention that other than school, work, and commuting i still need to put those extra home study hours. Yes it is very difficult to have a social life but I feel that I am able to sacrifice that now and everything will payoff in the long run when i have my career.

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