Tag: Commuting

Adjusting to Loyola as a Commuter

Adjusting to Loyola as a Commuter

Adjusting to the college life was a big challenge for myself. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but what kept me going through the semester was the idea of how I am one step closer to fulfilling my aspirations. Currently, I am a pre-physical therapy student. One of the most difficult things I have encountered at Loyola in my four years is commuting from the northwest side of Chicago everyday. My commute is about an hour and half ONLY one way, so time management was critical for me; however, I didn’t want to have a boring college life– going back and forth to school, doing homework, and repeating the same thing all over again, as it was worse enough that I couldn’t live on campus. In high school, I was greatly involved in extra curricular activities, and I wanted to continue that here at Loyola. Although I do not have as much time as in high school, I promised myself to join at least one group so that I can give myself a break and get a little experience of the fun college life. I did have to sacrifice “sleeping in” by choosing 8:15/8:30 classes almost every single day so that I had enough time to hang out with friends afterwards as well as attending group meetings/activities, keeping in mind that I had to be home at a certain time so that I don’t commute during late or dangerous conditions.  Along with rigorous courses, being a part of Loyola’s Pakistani Students’ Association and Loyola’s Muslim Student Association, meeting new friends, and of course, commuting 1 hour and 30 minutes by Chicago’s lovely public transportation, I wouldn’t want my four year experience here at Loyola to be any different. Although it was quite challenging at first, it made the experience worthwhile and unforgettable. I was able to meet a lot of new people and realize that all this sacrifice and dedication was just an obstacle I had to overcome in order to reach my goals that I know one day my parents and I will be extremely proud of.

FullSizeRender (2)

What Does “Commuting” Actually Mean?

What Does “Commuting” Actually Mean?

Commuter Proud Keychain - UPDATED

The first words that pop in my mind when hearing the word “commuting” are: independence, public, tiring, and home sweet home.

For the commuting students, things can get a little more exhausting compared to the life of a student who dorms.

Distance: Depending on where you live, you may have get up early and organize your time wisely so that you get on campus on time for your classes. For me, it takes an average of about 45 minutes on the train (with rush hour times, up to 1 hour).

Belongings: Commuters must bring everything they need for the day- books, laptops, binders, notebooks, lunch, etc. Students with pre-health/science courses know what I mean. Lockers are available for semester renting, but sometimes you do not have enough time to get to the lockers, so you result to carrying everything with you wherever you go. It all depends on how you arrange your schedule.

School Finances:  Price for commuting= $0.00. Although it is quite self-explanatory, you are doing your parents a huge favor, financially. Dorming can be expensive, depending on which building you choose to dorm in and who to dorm with. Personally, although dorming may be seen as the “college life”, going home to your own bedroom and family is way better.

Food: People that do not dorm are not obligated to get a meal plan for the dining halls. Most of the commuters (that I know of) bring lunch from home. It may not be as exquisite and delicious as the food they have in the dining halls, but it can fill your stomachs enough to get by through the day until you go home.

Prioritizing Time: Commuters have a home to return to, family obligations to do, etc. Sometimes attending events or hanging out with friends around the evening and nighttime hours can be difficult. During the daytime, when I have free time, I make sure I take advantage of the things I can do here that I can’t do at home such as go to tutoring and visit a professor during office hours.

CTA: Many things happen on the CTA because a ton of people use the train to go to work downtown- no explanation needed here. My advice would be to download the CTA app so you can track down when the buses and trains arrive. Freshman year, I found myself sprinting to the train stations to catch the train in order to avoid waiting another 10 minutes for another one to come.

Being a commuter is a lot to handle. But here at Loyola, we have a fantastic Off-Campus Commuter Life office, run by the amazing Tina Garcia. Every Tuesday, commuters get free tea/coffee, and once a month, we have commuter appreciation days. Every so often, they have events such as cupcake and cookie decorating.

There’s a lot more to commuting. But this is my general concept of what commuting really means, from a true commuter perspective. Hopefully this gives you a better idea of the life of a commuter.

CAD Fall 2015


It’s Good to be Back

It’s Good to be Back

Loyola Convocation

Hello All!

It’s so wonderful to be back in school and blog for all you readers again. It is an honor to be one of the first people you meet (indirectly) as you begin your college search. My blog, Rambler’s Pie: A Fresh Slice of Loyola, describes the life of me as a Loyola undergrad and commuting student. College life is never dull; there are so many events and activities that happen on-campus that I love to write about and share with you. Since I am a commuter student (living in Albany Park- 45 minute commute), I will sometimes write about things that happen in my personal life, my hobbies, and events I attend. This way, you can get a sense of what a commuter student is like. Noting that most of my fellow bloggers are living on-campus, you can visually see the differences in the daily life of a student living on-campus vs. the daily life of a student living off-campus.


I am beginning my sophomore year here at this beautiful (and windy) campus. It had been a fun yet challenging start to the semester as  I am taking 3 intensive courses- Organic Chemistry, Cellular Biology, and Calculus II. Organic Chemistry, as many of you may know or have heard, is considerably time-consuming and content-heavy. BUT, it is doable; it is not as ‘scary’ as I thought it would be, so for all of you guys who are doing science majors/minors and/or pre-med track, you can do it!


As a sophomore, there are some things I have learned from freshman year. As a commuter student, it is critical to make the best use of your free time on-campus – take advantage of tutoring, visit professors’ office hours, get homework done. When you go home after a long commute, the workload will be less and you can get more time to sleep. Secondly, there’s no need to buy some textbooks or carry them to school. Some textbooks at the Cudahy Library are put on reserve for students to read, but not borrow outside the library. If you can, you can go to the library and get assignments done there. Last but not least, remember to have an optimistic attitude and have faith in yourself. With enough dedication and commitment, you can do what you set out to do. As my BIOL 101 professor says every time we have an exam, Hard Work Pays Off. Therefore, make good use of your education, here at Loyola, and take advantage of the many opportunities and facilities Loyola has. Get your money’s worth.


Until the next blog, I hope you will visit my blog regularly to see my life story unfold. You won’t be bored of it, I can reassure you that!

I will end this blog with a Dr. Suess quote (because who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss?!)


Update on My Commuter Life

Update on My Commuter Life


The first semester has almost come to a close and with that, I have learned how to adjust to commuting well (Note: this is the first time I am using public transportation to get to school). There have been some interesting moments I have encountered along the way via the CTA. You meet people of ALL kinds-those that are loud, funny, rude, kind, and strange and sometimes there are occurrences that happen. Everyday, going to and from school, is a mystery; you do not know what exactly to expect not can you be prepared for it. For me, I actually enjoy the uncertainty because it makes life more interesting/on-the-edge, as my current life is a bit “bland” in my opinion. Yes, sometimes things may be dangerous and there definitely are people to take caution in, especially anywhere public, but I know how to defend myself as I am a black belt in martial arts and have enough common sense to make the right actions and decisions.

As winter quickly approaches, I am quite pleased to not have to deal with the snow and blizzards while commuting as it is uncomfortable and difficult to get from place to place. Commuting is casual; weather is not an issue at the moment yet. (When there is snow, I surely will blog about that!). Besides weather, I have learned that timing is everything. The train WILL NOT wait for you, therefore you must catch up with it. Sometimes in the morning, when I see the train lights and the crossing bar go down on the street, I often sprint (getting my morning jog) to the train stop and well as running up and down the stairs of Belmont to transfer to the red line.

In a way, commuter life is not that difficult to deal with. Sometimes it can be fun and enjoyable!

Campus Commuter

Campus Commuter

For my last year at Loyola, I decided to move off campus and take advantage of other areas of Chicago.  My friends and I finally decided on an apartment less than one block from Wrigley Field.  So far, SO GREAT.

A lot of people have asked me if it gets annoying having to make the commute to campus everyday for class.  For me, it’s no problem at all.  The 15-20 minute ride on the train gives me some extra time for leisure reading, listening to music, or cramming for that test I put off studying for.  It’s been a good transition period between waking up in the morning and having to concentrate in class.

Not only that, but I’ve gotten the chance to know more than just Roger’s Park.  Lakeview has treated me to good shopping and great food, most of which fit into my struggling-college-student budget.  If anyone is ever in the area, stop by Lucky’s for a sandwich – you will not be sorry!

But it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows in my new life of commuting.  Occasionally, the city likes to spring surprise construction projects on me.  Take it from someone who’s been late to more than a couple of classes, our beloved el train is not always dependable.

When you live on campus, getting to class simply means timing out your walking pace.  Unless there happens to be some act of God, getting to class is a pretty standard routine.  But as a commuter, I am at the mercy of the gods of the train.  I started off my last semester of college being almost 30 minutes late to class because the north-bound train didn’t stop at Addison.  It was a less than ideal situation.

So my advice for any Loyola student who is considering moving off campus is to weigh the pros and cons.  Overall, I think living in Lakeview is fantastic, and I would encourage anyone to do the same.