With one-third of UConn’s population being commuters, you can be sure to run into some of them as you walk through campus. Here are some telltale signs that the person you just passed is a commuter:
1. They carry their weight in food, books and all the “just-in-case” stuff.
My own personal array includes a large lunch bag that carries at least two meals in it, a backpack filled with notebooks, iClickers and calculators for classes, and of course, the “just-in-case” stuff. That category is pretty broad and includes mittens (in case it gets cold), an umbrella (in case it rains) and a baseball cap (in case it gets too windy, or I’m having a bad hair day). Sunglasses, extra lip balm, band-aids, and phone chargers are also included in the “just-in-case” category of what I carry everyday.
2. They check the UConn Bus Tracker app more than their texts.
By the first few days, they will usually have the bus routes down pat and know what line they want to use. When the bus gets there, though, is a day-to-day mystery as the traffic conditions get worse and worse. Why stand outside when you can relax on a comfy seat for 10 minutes? Or, if the bus is super late, you may just end up walking to your parking spot. There’s also the chance that you forgot something in your car and have to hurry there in between classes, so you definitely have to time the buses right. Either way, the Bus Tracker is on my home screen, and you will constantly catch me checking it as I’m walking to my stop.
3. You see them flinch when the professor says “group project.”
Alright, so this one can apply to shy residents as well, but there’s a different reasoning for most of us commuters. Thankfully, my most recent group project included some very nice people who were willing to work around when I was on campus, but it’s still rough. You never want to be the person that slows the whole group down (or at least I don’t), but you also don’t want to drive all the way out to campus for just an hour of working on a project. To the commuters who don’t live too far away, this may not be as big of a deal, but when the drive is longer than the time I’ll spend there, it’s a little irritating. It must be done, otherwise Skype will have to be used, but it’s not ideal.
Now, all of these could very well describe someone who lives on campus too, so these signs are not just exclusive to commuters. Some people always have the “just-in-case” stuff with them, even if they’re a few minutes from their dorm. Others will take the bus as much as any commuter because the walk to their building is just not worth it. And, like I said before, some people just hate group projects in general. They have sports, or clubs, or other things that make scheduling difficult. Or they just hate people. If you see all three of these aspects in someone though, there’s a good chance they have to drive here from somewhere far, far away.
Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.