by Christine Pitts
I just started my new job and one of the toughest transitions is definitely commuting. Currently, my job is about an hour drive from my house. There have been numerous people who have told me to take public transportation as an alternative to driving. Both driving and public transit have their pros and cons. Here are something’s I have been considering.
Driving. There is a lot that goes into driving. For starters, you have to be awake, alert and focused when driving – crazy right!? After working for nine hours getting into a car and having to put all my energy into thinking about the skill of driving in New Jersey can be a lot on my body, mentally and physically. Also, while an hour might not seem very long that hour is contingent upon the daily traffic flow. One day in the rain, it took me two hours to get home, and just this past week there was an accident on the turnpike that caused major delays – I’m talking 5+ hours worth of a delay (I was sick this week so luckily I missed out on that one! Phew). Last, in the long run driving costs more. I sat down and wrote my driving expenses for work and NEWS FLASH: THEY ARE INSANE. Welcome to New Jersey.
Public transit. From my house to my job the only public transit available for me is the train, which is roughly an hour and fifteen minutes if I can get a “good” direct train. Bad news, there are minimal direct trains from my train station to my job. The biggest problem I am coming across is finding a good train home. In the morning there are more direct lines than during the evening commute – explain that one to me. If the train had more options with direct lines this really would be a no brainer for me. However, I am having a really difficult time making the train work where I am not up at 4 am everyday or not home after 8pm everyday. The good side of the train is that I save money, and I get to rest on the train.
Bottom line: Driving I have more freedom on when I want to leave my house/start and end work etc. Taking the train I am more bound to a schedule, but it will be cheaper and I get to rest.
The good news: I plan on moving much closer to my job. Personally, I don’t want to rush the moving process, so I have to sacrifice with the commute for the time being (or as long as I can).
I was venting to a friend recently and I was like, “ugh on the train, it’s like two hours for me to get to work” and she just looked me dead in the eye and goes “ I feel like that’s everyone’s commute”. Living in New Jersey a lot of families work in the city (NYC) and commute. An hour+ commute is pretty normal for folks I know. It was then that I kind of realized that growing up is hard. I know commuting is normal for people. I wanted to write about this struggle, because it’s a huge transition for people coming out of school. We get used to being close to campus or living on campus that we don’t realize that lengths (literally) people go to their jobs. I know my commute and moving with sort itself out with time. I am trying to just take it a day at a time, but also be smart about it. The balance can be challenging.