Common struggles of the life of a commuter

Commuting is a daily routine for many college students at Cal Poly Pomona, as the university has its advantages and disadvantages, especially considering its location in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Students across L.A., Orange and San Bernardino counties drive each day to campus with new struggles to face before attending class.  

The major struggle is parking. Given that CPP has parking lots all over campus including overflow parking; however, it is not enough for all students to find a spot in the afternoon. Now starting the 2019-20 academic year, CPP has accepted more students than previous years, yet no new structures are to be seen.  

Gabriela Flores, a fourth-year Spanish major, commutes from Orange County and is always in constant worry of leaving on time. In order to avoid getting stuck in traffic that surrounds all streets around campus, she often struggles to make it to class on time.  

“Having class at 10 a.m. this semester is not parking friendly,” she said. “I have to either come earlier and get a decent spot or wait for others to leave and be late to class, not including traffic I get at the 57.”  

Views from congested traffic, what seems to be the inevitable for Cal Poly Pomona student commuters going to and from school.
(Jannet Diaz | The Poly Post)

Another issue commuters deal with is time management. First, class availability is limited by how many sections are offered and the time each class begins. Second, students must prepare in advance to drive to school. Students drive from all around to come to class each day and have to plan in advance the right time to leave while dealing with traffic on the highway or on campus. Each second counts in order to get to class on time and finish all responsibilities after class.  

Desiree Macario, a fourth-year environmental design major, drives from downtown L.A., facing an hour on a regular basis to and from school. Living in a fast-paced city, traffic is not a new issue, but it does become overwhelming.  

“It’s a struggle to make it on time,” she says. “I have to always keep in check there are no detours when taking the 10 freeway and give myself time to drive cautiously with impatient drivers on my side.”  

Commuting has become the main option for many students because housing or renting a room nearby is more expensive to handle than a drive. It’s $3.40 and higher a gallon at nearby gas stations; it doesn’t compare to the $7,000 per semester for starting freshman housing on campus and only increases from there.  

Waking up before sunrise and leaving campus at sunset is the schedule for most commuters. All to avoid being stuck in traffic and get by each week of the semester.  

What motivates students to drive each day and face these problems is to receive their college degrees. The road to success is not easy; many sacrifices have to be made, and college students know that in the end, the degree is worth it.

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