GW is located in the Heart of Washington DC. Being only 4 blocks away from the White House, the vicinity is full of history and a prime spot for students looking to network within a variety of fields; however, this all comes with a hefty cost.
Being from Baltimore, DC has always been a fun place to take a day trip. When I decided in March that I would be furthering my education in DC I was elated thinking about being close to all of my favorite sights and museums. However, when I revisited the cost of attendance I realized that living in DC may not be the most feasible option. With housing costs ranging from $800- $3,200 per month I began thinking of other alternatives that may be a little easier on my wallet.
When I first decided that I would be commuting it sounded pretty easy: I only have class two days a week, I can live at home (no rent or utility bills) and I can keep my local job on the days I’m not in class. I figuredI’d just leave a little early to adjust for traffic and all should be well. I was eager for classes to start and to get into the swing of my new schedule.
On Tuesdays my classes start at 12 noon. Accounting extra time for traffic, I plan to leave the house by 10, giving me time to find parking and relax a little before classes start. Thursdays I do the same, leaving at 9 for my 11 o’clock class. The drive to campus is easy enough, the drive back is the hard part. Sitting in DMV rush hour traffic is not fun, but it’s not terrible, and it’s a much cheaper alternative to paying rent.
Top 5 Tips for Commuters:
- Download Waze
Waze is a traffic app that gives you alternate routes, alerts you when there’s hazard on the road or police nearby, and (my personal favorite feature) tells you how long you will sit in traffic when there is a jam along your route.
2. Use your time wisely
Use time in between classes, and after classes if you’re waiting out traffic, to do as much work as possible. The last thing you want after driving for an hour is to have to stay up late reading.
3. Leave Early, Stay Late
Plan to get to class at least 30 minutes early. You can’t account for what traffic will look like, and you don’t want to be the person always inching in after the lecture has started. If you finish class during high traffic times plan to stay and wait it out. Do some work for an hour rather than sitting in traffic an extra 45 minutes.
4. Pack snacks
If you’re going to be on campus all day the last thing you want is to have to constantly buy food. Bring easy snacks or pack a dinner/lunch so that you can study uninterrupted.
5. Make a Friend
Make a friend that lives close by. It always helps to know you have a couch to crash on if you need a quick nap before making the ride back.