Only those of you lucky students who commute to school from your dwellings will feel my pain. The pain of driving from northwest Fort Worth to TCU is an immense undertaking involving stress from other drivers, cops running radar guns to make up their monthly ticket allotment, and the guaranteed construction and/or accident reducing flow to a standstill on Interstate 30.
To deal with a soccer mom who is transporting her gaggle of kids while texting and applying her makeup is but one of the pleasures of driving on Loop 820 in the Lake Worth area. This coupled with obnoxious semi trucks only adds to the “pleasure” of my commute.
Not only is the traffic annoying, but the time wasted driving from my area is also one of the many reasons I now regret opting to commute from my home instead of living on campus. To get to my 9 a.m. class on time, I have to leave my house by 8 a.m. This early morning wake-up call, coupled with a 35-plus minute drive, leaves me around 10-15 minutes to park in the battlegrounds this university likes to call parking lots.
This seriously cuts into my beauty sleep, forcing me to go to bed before 11 p.m., making me feel old and killing my night. The fun doesn’t end there though. Instead of enjoying a restful night’s sleep and entering class refreshed, I start my day stressed out from the morning commute.
The drive back home is almost as bad. There is a bit less traffic, but the wasted time and energy is still there. Oh, if I could leave the gym and just have to walk to my dorm or apartment instead of fighting traffic yet again. I can dream.
Beyond the time constraints and stress from traffic, there lies a bigger reason not to commute. With the world now trying to be “carbon conscious” or “green,” one can’t help but to think of the repercussions of driving over 26 miles a day, over 100 miles per week on my personal carbon footprint. This carbon footprint also cuts into my wallet, since my sport utility vehicle requires premium fuel.
I suppose I could try riding a bike down the highway, but I do want to live to see the rest of the week.
Danny Peters is a junior psychology major from Fort Worth.