The Power of Commuting

The Power of Commuting

“Well, I commute.” I find myself saying on a weekly basis in attempt to explain why I am limited in group meetings and social activities. This statement is always followed by the question “How far?”

“About an hour,” I always say, when truthfully it is closer to an hour and ten minutes, sometimes more. I say an hour to soften the blow because the response is always met with a dropped jaw and disbelief. Some people literally do not believe me. When I was planning my graduate career and said I was thinking of commuting to Syracuse, I often met the same response. No one thought it was plausible to commute over an hour in a state where snow is abundant. They often tried to talk me out of it.

That being said, I am glad they were unsuccessful. I commute to save money and I commute for my own happiness. My boyfriend and I own a home and two dogs. Renting an apartment in Syracuse was never an option for me.

Commuting has also made me a stronger person. Where as I was once afraid to drive in the city, I am no longer. When I get lost I rely on my own nerve to think logically and get back on the right track (literally). I lose two and a half hours for every day I have class, which has further improved my time management skills. And during the drive alone in the car I enjoy much needed alone time and personal reflection.

Is commuting easy? Of course not. But it is not the easy things in life that will get you where you want to be. So if you are a prospective student, I just want you to know that it is OK to commute. You can do it and you will be better off for it. In grad school, as in life, do what makes you happy and don’t let anyone else dictate what that is.

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Emilee Smith
Emilee is an artist, writer and musician who possesses a love of animals and a "Harry Potter" obsession. She is an avid reader, baker and aspires to publish novels. Emilee is currently earning a master's degree in public relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication.
@emileejaysmith
https://www.linkedin.com/in/emileesmith

2 Replies to “The Power of Commuting”

  1. Love it! Thank you for sharing! I think it’s great that you have your dog’s around you, I wish I could commute from my house. Too bad it’s an ocean and several countries away. What book are you listening to now while commuting?

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