GALLERY: A Day in the Life of a Commuter Student

By Maddie Sievers


Even though my hometown is only 20 miles north of Champaign-Urbana, I spent the first two years of my time at the University of Illinois living on campus. This year, however, I made a conscious decision to live with my parents (gasp!) and two younger siblings. To some this may seem unimaginable, but to me, I wouldn’t want it any other way. This is especially true now that I can compare living at home as a college student to the experience of living on campus.

Despite my twenty to thirty-minute drive each way to Chambana each day, I’m still able to spend time with my friends and boyfriend, participate in student clubs and groups, work an on-campus job, and attend plenty of social events. The biggest difference from living on campus, however, is that at the start and end of each day I’m surrounded by my biggest support system: my family.

Take a look into my life through this gallery of my typical day as a commuter student!




Since I’m not able to return home between classes, it’s necessary to pack everything I might need throughout the day on campus. This includes my books, chargers, notebooks, pens, planner, laptop, and lunchbox.




Another perk of living at home is that I’m free to have a pet without worrying about the no-pet policies dorms and apartments have. Before leaving each morning, I get to say goodbye to my adorable kitty, Hazel.




Next, I drive my car from my house to a parking space I rent on campus. I pump myself up for the day ahead by listening to music on the way!




When I arrive at Lot E-14, I wait for the Yellow Hopper bus to arrive. Making sure I catch my bus on time is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of my day!




After about a ten-minute bus ride, I arrive just a few buildings down from where my first class of the day is located.




After my first two classe, I eat the lunch I packed for myself. Meal preparation at the beginning of the week is key to having a healthy lunch each day!




 In between classes, I study…




 …and study some more.




At the end of my long, sometimes chaotic day, I drive home, prepare for tomorrow, and get a good night’s sleep for what lies ahead for me as a University of Illinois commuter student!





All images courtesy of Maddie Sievers

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