"So, you're a commuter," she types on to her draft. Her lips stretch out into an indiscernible line teetering on the edge of a grimace and a grin, and slowly but surely, the words begin to pour out of her fingers as she writes about the pros and cons of college commuting. Somewhat credible advice is strung onto the draft, and briefly the writer wonders if those words on the screen are enough to save a commuter's life.
Probably not, she muses, but proceeds to tie up the article with one last revision.
Enter the author's mindset circa one year later, and she still is not sure if that was the best or most sound advice she could have given to the public. However, after a year of commuting and exchanging horror stories with other commuters, the author now feels a tad bit more experienced and prepared in giving commuters old and new better advice on how to handle the upcoming semester.
For one, she - I, will tell you first and foremost that prioritizing work over academics will be one of your biggest regrets. Or if not your biggest regret, your grades' biggest regret. Come to that morning class half-awake? Unprepared? Late? Minus thirty points to House McLatePuff because, hello commuter, your excuses can stack up as much as you want - but those growing frowns, tallies, and missing notes will soon catch up to you and snatch that prestigious blank slate you have with your professors. Who talk. Who talk and pass on the word to other teachers; they are human beings. Save yourself, your reputation, and your grades and do not, at least - work until closing. Give up your job if you have to or find a more flexible occupation. I've had more than a handful of friends fall apart throughout my past year because of their work hours. Don't be like them, and do not, be worse.
Second of all, sleep. I don't care if you cherish your parking spot or like to be extra early or are the complete opposite. Sleep within reason because if you do not get those Z's, you will get D's. Or F's. Red Bull and caffeine can only give you so much of a shot of energy and even then, you can become immune to it with enough frequent dosage.
Besides that, I can only reiterate the obvious: make friends who are in the same classes, (they can back you up in commuting emergencies and have notes for you), set up multiple alarm clocks, learn different or at least your main communal route to school, (the app Waze, is handy too for unexpected delays/traffic jams), and befriend your professors. Or at least be on amicable speaking terms with them. Because as intimidating as they can get, if you let them know beforehand that you commute, or that you are going to be late, they will like you better and can let it go.
Being on good terms with professors like that will make your class less insufferable than it might already be. Trust me.
So sleep, prioritize, and get on class on time, okay? Please?