106 Commuting and Family Responsibilities

Dawson Crager


This entry in the FYSG is not for every student, it isn’t even for most commercial students, this section is solely for people who are now faced with true responsibility for the first time in their lives, if you have family responsibilities and have no idea how to handle them or simply need some advice then read this entry, or if you just want to read this advice for the future. Keep in mind this is three pages of advice to help you, so prepare yourself and take it in and remember that you can do anything you put your mind to.

As a freshmen this year you will be faced with things that some of you may not have faced before, such as how to balance commuting to school, if you’re a commuter of course, and your family life. I know that in my experience this has been by far the hardest part about school, trying to balance family, school and heaven forbid a job can be daunting I’m gonna share with you my story but before this I wanna just give you the facts. I surveyed a group of 25 commuter students and asked them if they had family obligations that on occasion prevented them from attending certain events and out of those 25, 10 said that they do, that’s 2/5 of all commuter students if that number is upscaled to fit the entire class you’re coming in with,  on paper that doesn’t look bad but if a class of 500 students comes into campus and 2/5 of the commuter students in that class have family obligations and responsibilities, (for this we’ll say that half of the 500 students commute) then that means that out of 250 total students that commute almost half of them will at some point have to decide between family or school or even whether or not they eat just to get what they have to get done finished and then head home to fulfill their obligations, and that’s the thing about this kind of stuff, no one can balance it for you it takes a lot to balance family and school but if I can do it I know you can too so don’t give up and just keep your head up and read my story and how I’m dealing with it to maybe give you a bit more insight into just how much it’s gonna take out of you.

So to start I live alone with my grandfather, I’m kind of taking care of him and paying the bills and doing store runs and basically anything that needs done, I’m in my situation because I lost my grandmother and I couldn’t just leave him so I stayed and it’s been hard, and while it’s difficult at times I have to persevere and push onward because it’s the right thing to do, I’m doing well enough in school, if you’re coming into college expecting to be loaded down with work at all times you’re not entirely right nor entirely wrong, I’ll explain, the workload you have is dictated by yourself, and how early you choose to get things done, and coming from highschool where deadlines didn’t really mean a whole lot it’s a hard adjustment to make, but time management is very important and when you’re commuting and running errands and doing tasks at home it can pile up quickly, my advice to you is this. Don’t put family on the backburner to write a paper the paper can be a day late, you can give up an hour of studying, it’s worth it, obviously I’m not saying to blow off school and make it unimportant because it’s the exact opposite this time is the most important part of your life, this is the point where you either grow or fold under the pressure and when you have more responsibility than some of your classmates who don’t have to worry about anything more than getting of bed for class and then going to a meet or practice, you begin to mature and develop into an actual adult, who knows how to function in the world and workplace, of course you’re still young and should live life while in college but learning how to be an adult and be responsible is something that a lot of people aren’t going to like, but it’s a fact of life and right now you’re in the heat of it.

Whether it’s family that’s got you down or schoolwork or just your own mental state you have to understand just how important you are to your family whether they make you feel that way or not, I know that if it wasn’t for me my grandfather would be lost and lonely at all times, and while we don’t always get along I know that I’m more important than he lets on or maybe than he knows, managing money is also a big issue when you have to take care of family and I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, it’s hard we live on 3000 dollars a month and it takes almost all of that in bills and food but then we have to live the entire rest of the month and stretching that out means you need to learn a lot, for example how much gas does it take to fill up your car, how much money is that, how low on gas can you be and still make it to college and back or at least to a station, most importantly tho is making sure your on top of all of this because it’s easy to just let it go, it’s easy to just drive back and forth and know that someone will always have the money to fill it back up, it’s easy to glide through life and college never having to worry about running out of gas or money but sadly if you’re like me that’s your primary concern after family and school is whether or not you can make it the rest of the month and I don’t want you to read this and think it’s all bad taking care of your family is one of the most rewarding things in the world, I took my grandfather to a dinner once and it was worth everything just to see him smiling and laughing and just to see him excited for once and it made every hardship worth it, that one small little thing made it all worth it and that’s what you’ll have to learn, is that no matter what appreciate the little moments in life because no one deserves to feel alone or abandoned and if you have to be the one to stop someone from feeling that way then do it, not because it’s easy but because you can and I believe you can, I have to because if I didn’t believe it was possible there’s no way I’d be making it through it right now, there’s no way I would even be typing this for you to read, because I would’ve given up a long time ago.



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