Angela Coufal" />
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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Students looking for break from commute

Unlike other Houston-based universities, UH caters to students who travel to and from school by bus, bike or car and regularly fight distance and traffic in order to receive an education.’

As of Fall 2009, 84 percent of UH students commute.

Education junior Nichole Pfeiffer makes roughly a 68 mile round trip to UH from Richmond four days each week.

Pfeiffer said she lives at home with her parents in order to save money while she finishes her education.’

‘I transferred here because it was close to home and it would save me money,’ she said. ‘But I ended up loving it, so I stayed.’

Pfeiffer said she has thought about moving onto the campus, but costs are an issue. If finances weren’t a problem, she would rather live close to UH instead of on campus anyway, because she feels it would be quieter.’

The worst thing about being a commuter, Pfeiffer said, is the traffic she has to deal with if she doesn’t ‘sprint’ to her car right after her 4 p.m. class. But she said overall, UH is worth the commute.

‘I don’t think I would go to any other university now,’ Pfeiffer said.

Geology junior Helen Flores also has a long commute to campus. She makes a 66 mile round trip to UH each day from Katy.

Flores said in order for her to make her 8:30 a.m. class, she leaves her house before 7 a.m., taking her an hour to get to campus and an extra 30 minutes to find parking once she arrives.’

‘Besides traffic, parking is frustrating as a commuter; there are not enough spaces,’ Flores said.’ ‘I drive around trying to find a spot where I can (at) least park close to a shuttle pickup.”

Flores would live in the Calhoun Lofts if she had her choice, but with her job in Katy, it would not be practical for her to live on campus.’

If not for her work schedule, Flores said she would consider riding Metro.

‘Metro is difficult because of the times I have to be at work,’ Flores said. ‘I know that it comes midday, but my class doesn’t end until 2:30 p.m. and the bus (stops) at 1:30 p.m. and I have to be at work at 3 p.m., so it just doesn’t work out with my schedule.’

Public relations junior Minhthy Vu said she doesn’t use Metro for her 60 mile round trip commute from Spring because of convenience reasons as well.’

‘I just like having the convenience of my own car with me,’ Vu said. ‘That way I can come and go as I please. The driving itself can be a pain, but having to schedule my time around a bus schedule sounds even worse.’

Vu said her 8:30 a.m. class requires a 75-minute drive to be on time. She also said her class schedule is determined by her commute.

‘I’ve had to take more summer school because the class options I did have in the evening during the semester were too late,’ Vu said. ‘I didn’t want to stay on campus for four hours with nothing to do, and if I drove home and drove back again, it’d be a waste of gas, and by the time I got home it would just be time for me to leave again.’

Vu planned on going away to school, but her father got sick, and coming to UH saved her family money. She is considering moving closer to campus soon, but would prefer off-campus living.’

‘I have this notion that so few people live on campus, so I would much rather live on my own somewhere else, especially since I’m a junior this year and my idea is that mainly freshman live on campus,’ Vu said.

Economics senior Peter Tram also commutes to UH with a 50 mile drive from the Texas 249 and FM 1960 area. ‘

‘ Tram’s first class is not until 10 a.m., but the other members of his carpool have to be in class at 8 a.m., so he is out of his house by 6 a.m. Getting on the road early and taking the HOV lane still doesn’t relieve him of the Houston traffic burden.

‘The worst part about being a UH commuter is the long drive on (Interstate) 45 during rush hour,’ Tram said. ‘That is the only thing I hate about it.”

Commuting doesn’t affect Tram’s class options, but he does schedule his classes around his work schedule.’

He said he would consider moving closer to campus, but where he lives now is halfway between school and his job.’

‘I love the school, I love the campus and I have friends there,’ Tram said. ‘I may have to sit through traffic just to get to school, but it’s worth it. I’m getting a good education and I would do it all over again to have the experience.’

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