Anyone have experience with long commutes?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 31
Member
844 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I do think that’s a long commute, but it’s doable for two years.  You’ll be fine ! It will suck, but it will be doable.

Post # 32
Member
2314 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

I drive about 17 miles each way for my commute. However, Portland is stupid, so it often takes about an hour to get home. 

If I was driving on a clear road, without traffic, the time wouldn’t bother me. It’s the grinding stop and go that makes me bonkers. 

You know you best. If you’re cool with some audiobook/podcast/soundtrack action, and the cost of gas/wear and tear/time seem worth it, I don’t see why you couldn’t make it work. Grad school isn’t forever. 

Maybe see if you can carpool with someone else who’s commuting? Not having to drive yourself every time could make the process much more tolerable. 

Post # 33
Member
240 posts
Helper bee

I commuted about 90 minutes each way—via public transportation, though—for about two years. It’s doable, especially if you know that this will be your commute for a finite period of time. 

Also, with grad school, if I’m not mistaken, as the program goes on you will likely have days with no classes, which means you can work/study at home and avoid the commute. 

Audio books and podcasts are key. I also get a lot of my family/friends calls in on my commute now (about 30 minutes each way). Also, as you get to know your route, knowing where an emergency pit stop, a good cup of coffee, a favorite place to grab dinner on the way home, etc. will make your commute more manageable. 

Post # 34
Member
719 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2021 - Dracut, Massachusetts

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c3lloninja :  I used to drive 2 hours one way for a job. It gets to you after awhile. I don’t know if that 90 mins is traffic or without but I wanted to bang my head off the steering wheel every day

Post # 35
Member
1469 posts
Bumble bee

My advice is having an end-point in mind. A time you will stop commuting no matter what. I commute a 4 hour flight twice a week. (Plus 30 minute drive) but knowing I don’t have to in 2018 helps ALOT

 

Post # 36
Member
530 posts
Busy bee

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c3lloninja :  I take a bus, a train, another train, then another bus. Then I have to climb down a set of steps in the hills down to the roof of my grad school building…

It takes about 1 hour 50 minutes.

My school is in another city than where I live, but I will finish soon whereas my husband needs to stay in this area because of his work for several more years.

Post # 37
Member
3540 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

You need to look into the class schedule. Making that commute twice a week is not the same as five days a week. Making it at 10 am is not the same as 8 am, nor is it the same as working all day and the driving for two hours to class at 5 pm every day. 

If grad school is what you want to do, then you need to make it work. You will find a way that works for you. But I think learning more about the class schedule is the first step.

Post # 38
Member
6911 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

Audio books!

Post # 39
Member
6911 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

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slothbear :  gods bless you. I had a commute almost exactly like that for a couple years and it brought me close to a nervous breakdown. I salute your commitment and congrats on being close to finishing!

Post # 40
Member
530 posts
Busy bee

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TwilightRarity :  Thank you! And I can’t imagine doing it for years like you did. I’d probably have a breakdown too!

I figured I would use my commuting time for extra language study, but I get motion sickness if I read on a moving bus or train. 🙁 Thankfully my grad school, language school, and gym are somewhat close to each other. Otherwise, I couldn’t do anything!

Post # 41
Member
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

2 hour commutes are pretty common among graduate students I know who live/study along the NE corridor… lots of couple make PHL/NYC/DC commutes work during grad school. For two years, your situation seems doable. If you already have an apartment/house you love, I wouldn’t bother to move to save yourself 20 or 30 mins… Is your car reliable and cheap to maintain? It sounds like you’re in a LCOL area, but make sure you budget for gas and parking when you look over your stipend contract. Parking at my university runs $400/year, due at the same time as all our graduate student fees and it’s not fun coughing up $1500 when the gap between summer and fall funding often means we’ve hit a six week pay freeze. 

Post # 42
Member
9422 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

at my old job i had an hour commute, never traffic, so it was a straight shot. i still hated it.  that was 2 hours extra added to my day. if i went the gym after work, then had dinner when i got home.  it was 8pm when i was finally settling down.

when i moved and got a new job, i had a 15 minute commute.

my husband went from a 15ish minute commute to a 40 minute commute with no traffic. but that rarely happens.  it usualy takes his 60 minutes but can take longer on bad days.  it sucks and is draining.

if it is something that you are only doing short term or not every day of the week, it maybe something you can handle. 

 

i also agree with audiobooks, i started listening to books when i had my long commute and love it. i still listen to books but it takes me a little longer to get through with my shorter commute.

Post # 43
Member
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

 I used to have a 1.5 hour commute each way – hated it, and like someone said before me it ate my life up. I was exhausted by the time I got home and really only had time to eat dinner, get ready for bed, and sleep. I hated my job at the time, too…so that may have added to my misery. It might not be as bad for a good opportunity. Way better if it isn’t 5 days a week.  

Post # 44
Member
1037 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I commute an hour by day, but I don’t have to drive so it’s not really stressful. It’s just so long and means I’m gone for 12 hours of the day.

Post # 45
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee

Honestly, I get where your Boyfriend or Best Friend is coming from with not wanting to commute because DH and I made this mistake when I had gone back to school. We moved to a mid-point between my work and his school and it was stupid, I should have just made the commute because now I work closer to his work (which is the area I wanted to work in from the beginning) and we moved AGAIN after schooling and once I found work. So I see where is he coming from, school is a temporary location while work is a little less temporary. 

With that being said, I had about a 40 mile commute and it was still rough! My class days were 12 hour days, so the commute made it about 14 and then I would have to come home, do homework, and try to prepare for the next day. So it is definitely tough, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I really don’t think you should write off grad school because of the distance though. Especially since you don’t think you will be fighting too much traffic. In the end I think you would regret NOT going to school!

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