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10 Things to Know as a Commuter Student at SSU

By: Brittany Locklin, ‘17

Though I am not a commuter student, I have a handful of commuter friends who are always telling me things that sound something like “I really wish I had known X, Y, Z before I started commuting to school.” This got me thinking, what other things have people learned from being a commuter? What should potential commuter students know before they come to Salem State? I took to social media and asked around to get the answers. Since I don’t even own a car, I had no idea what kinds of challenges and learning experiences arise from being a commuter. Thankfully, since Salem State is approximately 50% commuter students, it wasn’t hard to find my answers. Here are 10 things to know as a commuter at Salem State!

  1. “Organization is key! You need to plan your day out and what you need to bring with you to school. You don’t have the option of going back to your room.” - Kathryn McCarthy, ‘17
  2. “Pack some snacks or a meal (or two). People are constantly eating, and that will make you hungry, and if you have no money, you are just going to get hungrier.” - Victoria Stone, ‘17
  3. “Don’t waste your ‘skips’ in class just because you don’t want to get out of bed. Save them in case you have car trouble, or there is bad weather.” - Jenn Hough, ‘16
  4. “Take advantage of the time you have between classes to do your homework or meet with professors or groups.” - Annalise Prizio, ‘18
  5. “Save up money for gas and make sure you have a fire playlist for if you get stuck in traffic.” - Jessi Tassinari, ‘19
  6. “Find a spot to hang out that a lot of other people are, like the commuter lounge. If you’re social, you’ll make so many new friends!” - Chris Ellis, ‘16
  7. “Always have a backup plan…Have a plan B in case of a weather emergency. Keep a spare blanket and change of clothes either in your car or with a resident friend, so you don’t get stuck.” - Brandon Dembowski, ‘19
  8. “Learn the area for shortcuts, and on nights you end up staying late at the library to study for a test the next day, ask a resident friend to sleep in their room.” - Jaclyn Peary, ‘19
  9. "Always have extra cash, food, a portable charger, and a bag that’s practical!” - Amber Smith, ‘19
  10. “Make a little extra time to stay on campus outside of your class hours. Get your work done at the library, go to an event with free food, or just hang out with those friends you never see because they live on campus and you hightail it out of there as soon as you can.” - Victoria Stone, ‘17

So there you have it, folks! I hope you found these responses as interesting as I did. Being a commuter certainly poses a unique set of challenges and learning experiences. But coming to Salem State has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, and I’m sure whether you commute or live on campus, you’ll like it here just as much as all of the current students do! 

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