Being a commuter instead of a residential student is a great choice for many people, but like most money-saving opportunities, it comes with its struggles. Here is a quick list of tricks and tips to make commuting at Maryville College a lot easier and more rewarding (even more so than all the money you're saving!).
1. Make plenty of friends.
Even though you’ll hear it about a million times throughout orientation, it’s very important that you get out there and make friends and join clubs. It’s the very thing that makes commuter life bearable.
2. In addition to making friends and joining clubs, make an effort to go to campus events. Going home right after your classes ruins your college experience.
A few places to go between/after classes:
Commuter Lounge (Look at #3)
Study Spot (Look at #7)
Maryville College Woods
Maryville/Alcoa Greenbelt (Maryville Greenbelt is attached to the Blount County Public Library as well)
3. The Commuter Lounge can be your best friend.
Also, if you have comments/suggestions for the commuter lounge or want your favorite snack to be in there, leave a note for the Nontraditonal Committee Chair. This is a great place to meet fellow commuters.
4. 8 a.m. classes are NOT your friend.
As much as you thought getting up for 8 a.m. classes in college will be the same as getting up for school in high school, they're really not! They will make you question life itself. Sometimes you have to take them, but avoid them if possible. You have to get up way too early for them.
5. Always leave early for class.
Always. If Google Maps tells you that your drive will be 45 minutes, leave at least an hour to an hour and 15 minutes before your class starts. You never know what traffic will be like.
Snow Day Tip: If you can make it to your class, leave as early as you possibly can and drive cautiously. If you can’t make it, email your professor in plenty of time. Also, snow days are more likely to happen during the spring semester, so try to avoid skipping class as you may have to miss for snow.
6. Find a study spot on campus.
This way, you can study between classes! Some suggestions: in Thaw, up the stairs near Academic Support, there’s a bunch of bookshelves and a couple of desks facing windows. Next to the Commuter Lounge, there’s a door to a hallway that no one uses. In the MC Woods (If you really like nature and don’t need WiFi), there’s a tower within the ropes course, but it’ll take some finding.
7. Make residential friends!
This includes the people in your orientation group. Chances are good that the people you meet during orientation will be your “group” during freshman year.
8. Use your resources!
Take advantage of amenities on campus such as the Cooper Athletic Center, the Maryville College Woods, and the Academic Support Center (Tutoring, Group Study, Cooper Success Center).
It is not the best thing to deal with, especially when you have classes in the morning or right after lunch.
You have four places to park:
Clayton Center: Open sometimes, but always closed for any Clayton event. Park here for Sutton and maybe Anderson if there isn’t another option.
Fayerweather: Always open, but be here by 9 am if you want a good spot, and even then it can be difficult. Don’t move your car at lunch, or you will definitely lose your spot. This is where admissions guests usually park as well. Also, Fayerweather is usually cleared out by 3 p.m.
Outside of Cooper: There are usually a couple of spots, depending on time of day. It varies based on what sport is in season.
Baseball Field: There are usually plenty of spots, especially during baseball season. It’s a “park at your own risk” parking lot. When you plan to park here, add a couple of minutes to your walk to class.
*Side Note: As previously mentioned, always plan to be early, because even if traffic or weather is good, it'll give you more time to study, finish up assignments, or print things off before class.
For food, bring lunch if you can, but if you can’t, I would suggest buying a few flex dollars -- the food at Pearson’s and Isaac’s is discounted that way. Also, during finals week, there is a free finals breakfast at 10 p.m. for both the fall and spring semester.