Commuter Student Tips

Students walking through snow

Tips for UW-Platteville Commuters

Here's a list of tips that you, as a commuter, will find beneficial and allow you to have a more fulfilling and worthwhile college experience.

  1. Plan your class schedule accordingly
    • When registering for classes, consider the following:
      • How early do I want to be on campus?
      • How late do I want to be on campus?
      • Do I have breaks between classes to study, eat, run errands, meet with professors, etc.?
    • Plan your schedule so you can make it to all of your classes on time. For example, if you are not a morning person, try to avoid any early morning classes. As a commuter, you have to factor in travel time, parking, and traffic, meaning you have to leave even earlier from your home.
  2. Participate in campus events and activities
    • Pay attention to bulletin boards, the UW-Platteville website calendar, and emails - informing you of the numerous events that are taking place on campus every day.
    • Make a point to attend a few of the ones that you are interested in. This is a fantastic way to meet new people and increase your school pride!
  3. Get involved on campus by joining a student organization
    • Another great way to meet new people is to join a student organization on campus. There are over 200 student organizations on campus that emphasize academics, community service, athletics, and hobbies/student interests. Chances are very likely that you will find an organization that interests you! 
    • Find an organization that fits your interests by vising PioneerLink and see what UW-Platteville has to offer.
  4. Study on campus
    • There are numerous areas and spaces on campus where students can find a quiet place to work and study. By studying on campus, you prevent any unnecessary distractions from disrupting you allowing you to stay focused on classwork. Another benefit of studying on campus is the easy access to resources in case you have questions. Your professors, peers, and campus staff are all close by and ready to assist you.
  5. Organize study groups with fellow classmates
    • At the beginning of the semester, find a handful of students that would be interested in forming a study group in each of your classes. Set aside a specific amount of time to meet each week with your groups. As a commuter, it may be difficult to find time to meet later on in the semester unless you set aside time for it right away. Also, studying in a group can be very beneficial to help understand and discuss difficult concepts.
  6. Get a job on campus
    • Obtaining an on-campus job will not only allow for financial support but also increase your familiarity with the university and meet students, faculty, and staff. Also, having a campus job allows for more flexibility in your schedule and the opportunity to learn more about time managment and balance. 
  7. Plan ahead
    • Use to-do lists and a master calendar to plan ahead for busy days and weeks. Projects, papers, and group work may require you to arrive earlier or stay later on campus, so planning that ahead of time will make your schedule more organized and your life less stressful.
  8. Purchase a parking pass
    • Finding parking near campus that doesn’t require a permit can be frustrating, so it is a worthwhile investment to purchase a commuter pass. This way you can spend less time worrying about finding a spot or walking a long distance to campus and more time focused on studying!
  9. Give yourself extra time in case of emergencies
    • Unexpected events occur in everyone’s life, but may have a greater impact on a commuter’s day if it prevents them from arriving to campus on time. Allow for extra time in the morning in case something prevents you from sticking to your regular schedule. If something does come up, contact your professor or peers to alert them of what has happened and schedule an appointment to meet with them during office hours or at another time during the week.
  10. Set guidelines with your parents/roommates
    • Talk with your parents/guardians about your schedule and when you will be gone during the day and what time they should typically expect you home. Also, discuss any chores or responsibilities they may expect you to fulfill while you are staying with them. Make sure to add these to your schedule and allow time during the week to complete these tasks. It’s important to discuss these issues right away so everyone is clear about the expectations and conflict doesn’t arise later on in the semester.
  11. Watch the weather
    • The weather is unpredictable and during the winter months can make your commute difficult. Contact faculty and staff in advance if you know you cannot make it to class or will be late so you can make arrangements to obtain the missed material.

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