Many Students and faculty experience a loss of valuable time due to commuting to and from school.
Elibeth Barrera (junior, Psychology) described times when driving so much has affected her schedule, “The times where it [commuting] effects me are when I encounter traffic for awhile, which takes time from me completing work and studying.”
A common commute time to Stanislaus state falls within 30 minutes to an hour.
“I live about 40 minutes from school, so I travel around 30 miles to get to school. In the three years I’ve been attending Stan, thankfully I haven’t experienced any car troubles,” Barrera added.
On-campus living is not an option for everyone due to financial reasons, and some students simply prefer to live at home.
Dan Berkow, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, and Director of Psychological Counseling Services, described the setbacks of commuting, “A lot of the students we see here are commuting, plus they have family obligations, plus they have (a lot of times) financial stress and are working. Time and energy of commuting is another stress on top of other stressors. It also means it is harder for them to connect to the life on campus, like activities and programs.”
Commuting may have a negative influence on students' mental and physical health. Thankfully there are ways to take advantage of the time spent on the road.
“I am an advocate for mindfulness practice, I would see if I could use some of that time as mindfulness practice, where I am focusing on being present and what’s around me, focusing on my immediate sensations...other suggestions would be: is there a music you like listening to, or is there a book you’d benefit from listening to?” Berkow added.
There are instructors who see the effects of driving long ways.
Thalia Bobadilla, Communications Professor, shared how she understands her mobile students difficulties, “I think one of the biggest challenges can be exhaustion. I know that can be kind of obvious. Your mind, it’s a muscle, and that needs to be exercised in healthy parameters. When students commute long [distances], you almost have to warm students up before teaching, but once we start doing the activities and all that, everyone is like ‘oh cool I got this’.”
“Commuting is already difficult for me, but this is what I do everyday, I know I’m speaking about stuff that I am competent in and have expertise, but for you guys to be commuting to sit here, a sponge [to] new information...I can only imagine,” said Bobadilla.