Commuter Life: A Traffic Jam with Advantages

A day in the life of a typical commuter student usually begins with an alarm clock going off at least an hour and a half before the beginning of class. This is followed by the typical routine of getting ready in the morning; then the real mission begins: dealing with traffic.
Some may question why anyone would want to make a commute to UM if the residential colleges offer everything any student could ever want. Answers to this question vary. Some people simply like the exercise. Students travel to school by car, bus, MetroRail, bike, skateboard, or a comfy pair of Nike’s. Others believe that no one truly enters the real world until they start living on their own. This is the core reason many students give for choosing to live off campus, as it gives them the freedom to make their own decisions, allowing them to make their mistakes on the way and to learn from them. Living off campus often requires leases and thus monthly rent payments, and many see this as a natural transition into adult life.
The UM website offers many options for off-campus housing for students around the Coral Gables and South Miami community, minutes from campus and at a comfortable walking distance. To get details, visit This site offers information on rental places, a roommate database and more.
For commuter students, the University Center, located upstairs in UC 236, is the place to congregate. Equipped with tables, chairs, couches, and television sets, the UC provides commuters with a comfortable, homey atmosphere to socialize between or after classes.
Among the services provided for commuter students is the Great Start program, an overnight, pre-orientation program designed to help incoming commuter freshmen become better prepared for college life. Incoming commuter students spend two days and a night on campus in the residence halls learning about UM. Also, Commuter Connections, which can be found on the Commuter Affairs website, features upcoming events that commuter students may be interested in. The site’s purpose is to help commuter students become more involved in on-campus activities.
Most of the students who live off campus are upperclassmen or graduate students; all incoming freshman are required to live on campus unless they live with a family member. All commuter students have access to all of the services on campus including the library, computer labs, and study lounges.
For more information on Commuter Student Affairs, contact the office at 305-284-5646 or visit

ACS Tips for Commuter Students
1. Get involved in the Association of Commuter Students [ACS] or another student organization.
2. Stay on campus after classes…there’s a lot going at night!
3. Make friends in the residence halls…you never know when you might need a place to stay on campus!
4. Get to campus early to beat traffic and find a good
parking spot. You can tune into WVUM for the
latest parking updates.
5. Use Public Safety’s escort service if you are on campus late at night. Call 305-284-6666.