• Rachelle Saint Louis

Commuter Chronicles #1

Updated: Aug 29, 2018

August 20th - August 24th

I officially started my journey at Florida Atlantic University on Monday, August 20th. I am a commuter, hence the title. I live about 20-30 minutes from the school and I take I-95 there when I drive. I have classes Mon-Fri. I take three classes on Monday and Wednesday, two on Tuesday and Thursday, and one on Friday.

I decided to go super early the first day of school. My first class is at 10 AM, but I left my house at around 8 and found a great spot in the parking garage. I somehow didn't get lost finding my classes and I hung out with one of my friends from high school during the 3-hour gap I have between my second and third class of the day. After my classes, I took a Zumba class at the fitness center and it was so much fun. 10/10 Would recommend!

Day two is when things started to head south. My first class on Tues and Thurs starts at 2 PM so I decided that by that time, a lot of people would be going home and there would be plenty of parking. Boy, was I wrong.

I left my house around 11:30 and two lanes were closed on the Interstate, so it took me about 45 minutes to get to the school. Then, I drove around for nearly an hour looking for a parking space. But that wasn't all, I soon realized I forgot my backpack earlier that morning. The syllabus I had printed the night before for my Bio class was also in that backpack.

I ended up going to the Center for First Generation Students because I had remembered someone saying that I could go there if I ever needed anything. I was in tears but Alex was more than prepared. She found a bag, notepad, and pen for me and she let me print out the syllabus right there and then. This really turned my day around.

I went to my classes and decided to go to the meeting for Cru, a Christian organization on campus. I had a wonderful time, and I kept saying I was going to leave but I just couldn't seem to do it. I ended up staying for the entire hour and a half meeting and I got home way later than usual, but it really helped give me that boost I needed so I think it was well worth it.

Wednesday, I woke up with the worst cramps. I ended up asking my mom to take me to school that day because I didn't feel like I could drive, but I was definitely not willing to miss three classes. My mom always tells me that she's here for me and that I can ask her for anything and she wasn't kidding. My stepdad came along while I sat in the backseat, snoozing from the three Aleve I took. My classes went well and I downloaded the Owl Maps app so I wouldn't get lost.

On Thursday, I learned how to take the Tri-rail. My mom came along with me to make sure I got there okay. It was a learning experience for the both of us, since the only time we took the Tri-rail was home from the airport. We missed the first train because we didn't get our tickets in time, but one of the workers there helped us out and we caught the next one.

There's a bus that picks FAU students up from the Tri-rail and brings them directly to the school. It came a few minutes after my train. I took the Tri-rail home on my own and my brother picked me up from the stop. I plan on taking the Tri-rail Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Parking is really difficult on Tues and Thurs because that's when most classes are scheduled. I only have one class on Fridays so taking the Tri-rail is probably more cost efficient and it allows me to do other things on the way there, like study.

On Friday, I drove. I left the house a little earlier so I could go to the Booksmart in Boca. It's way cheaper than the school bookstore, even if the textbooks are still really expensive. Parking on Friday is super relaxed seeing as not many students are taking classes Friday, so I found a spot in the parking garage easily.

I had my Social Psychology class, which I'm really enjoying. My professor is young and charismatic and the material is super interesting. After class I went to the park with my brother's girlfriend's little sister. We talked about her middle school drama and my old high school drama and how it's all the same. I gave her some advice that she will ultimately choose whether to follow or not.

What I learned this week:

Monday: Hanging out with friends and exercising are great forms of self-care.

Tuesday: It's important to be prepared for every situation. Because of this experience, I now keep a drawstring bag in my trunk and an extra notebook in my backseat.

Wednesday: It's okay to ask for help. There are people in your corner and they want to see you succeed.

Thursday: Even though I'm living at home, I am still my own person. I can still be independent and there should be times where I can rely on myself.

Friday: Be a mentor and listen to people who have something to say. Also, textbooks are super expensive!

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