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How did current PA students deal with an over an hour commute? Starting PA school and wanted to see if it was a struggle for anyone. My ride would be an hour and half, and wanted to know if this would put me at a disadvantage. The rent is SO expensive around the school. Any advice is helpful. Thank you!

Edited by sudowoodo
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I went to school 2 hours from home and lived near campus, even though my wife and grown family lived back home. I also commuted for a week or so while my wife was in the hospital so I have some comparison. Earlier, as an undergrad back in the Bronze Age, I commuted for a year and then lived on campus for the last 3. Living at home made college seem like high school, which was not a step forward for me at the time.

As a PA student during my wife's hospital stay, while I listened to lectures during my drives, I much preferred living near school. I could go back to my apartment if I had a reasonable break between classes because I could study better there. If there was a late class, I got home in time to get a good night sleep. I could wake up early in the morning to study and then walk to school to take a test. In the evening, I could get together with classmates for dinner or a beer now and then.

I would suggest you either find a place near school or someplace that is within about 30 minutes or so of campus. If you can afford it, anything that saves you time and preserves your mental sanity is probably a good idea.

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15 minutes ago, UGoLong said:

I went to school 2 hours from home and lived near campus, even though my wife and grown family lived back home. I also commuted for a week or so while my wife was in the hospital so I have some comparison. Earlier, as an undergrad back in the Bronze Age, I commuted for a year and then lived on campus for the last 3. Living at home made college seem like high school, which was not a step forward for me at the time.

As a PA student during my wife's hospital stay, while I listened to lectures during my drives, I much preferred living near school. I could go back to my apartment if I had a reasonable break between classes because I could study better there. If there was a late class, I got home in time to get a good night sleep. I could wake up early in the morning to study and then walk to school to take a test. In the evening, I could get together with classmates for dinner or a beer now and then.

I would suggest you either find a place near school or someplace that is within about 30 minutes or so of campus. If you can afford it, anything that saves you time and preserves your mental sanity is probably a good idea.

Thanks so much for the input. I’m really leaning toward living closer, exactly for the reasons you stated. Just nervous about the money because where I am going to school there is NO rent less than 1500 a month.  Did you also feel it was Important to live close during clinical rotations?

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47 minutes ago, sudowoodo said:

Thanks so much for the input. I’m really leaning toward living closer, exactly for the reasons you stated. Just nervous about the money because where I am going to school there is NO rent less than 1500 a month.  Did you also feel it was Important to live close during clinical rotations?

Not really. I was able to move back home and do my clinicals within an hour or so from home. In one instance, I stayed overnight at the hospital since we had a late add-on case one night and an early case the following morning. There was also far less interaction with classmates; we saw each other mostly on callback days between rotations. 

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6 minutes ago, UGoLong said:

Not really. I was able to move back home and do my clinicals within an hour or so from home. In one instance, I stayed overnight at the hospital since we had a late add-on case one night and an early case the following morning. There was also far less interaction with classmates; we saw each other mostly on callback days between rotations. 

Thank you so much for the info!!

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Just something to consider, commuting 3 hours a day for 5 days week over a year amounts to more hours than are in an entire month. If you do commute, make sure you have some way to make it productive because you won't get that time back. Best of luck!

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Move closer, seriously. My commute was an 45-60 minutes, but it was on a lovely, quiet, commuter train where I could study and sleep and be a person. If I was driving I would have never survived that. All that time lost. Yuck.

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23 hours ago, TheFatMan said:

Just something to consider, commuting 3 hours a day for 5 days week over a year amounts to more hours than are in an entire month. If you do commute, make sure you have some way to make it productive because you won't get that time back. Best of luck!

So true! Especially when you put it that way. 

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It is doable, but if you have the opportunity to be closer to campus take advantage of it!  My commute to campus is an hour and 20 minutes, and I’m doing clinicals now and the drive is 1.5-2 hours each way- I knew this when I signed on, so I try to listen to podcasts and review the lectures I have recorded on the iPad.   Being I’m a mom of three,  with a hospitalist husband  and three horses, moving was not an option for us. I have to tell you those extra hours seem so luxurious right now! 🙂 Also I know at least one of my cohort mates has a similar commute to mine. At the end of the day you have to do what works for you and your family. Good luck to you!

 

 

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15 hours ago, 1madmamma said:

It is doable, but if you have the opportunity to be closer to campus take advantage of it!  My commute to campus is an hour and 20 minutes, and I’m doing clinicals now and the drive is 1.5-2 hours each way- I knew this when I signed on, so I try to listen to podcasts and review the lectures I have recorded on the iPad.   Being I’m a mom of three,  with a hospitalist husband  and three horses, moving was not an option for us. I have to tell you those extra hours seem so luxurious right now! 🙂 Also I know at least one of my cohort mates has a similar commute to mine. At the end of the day you have to do what works for you and your family. Good luck to you!

 

 

You have so much on your plate to begin with!! Do you believe it sets you behind? Losing a couple hours a day? I’m nervous that I will lose those hours since my form of studying is more repetitive and writing. Do you wish you were able to move closer? Thanks so much for the perspective!

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I don’t think it sets me behind at all, I have a system and it has worked so far!! 🙂 I’m super grateful to be in this program (they are really supportive of their students) and that helps keep me motivated when I’m having a rough day. It would have been a hassle for us to move and I don’t mind driving. I’m lucky because living in CT I had a lot of options for PA school that were all in within a 2 hour drive (that was my max)  In terms of studying, you may have to seriously consider revamping how you study- I was a hard and firm textbook/ print out the powerpoints girl- well one pharmacology lecture was 200 slides- there was no reasonable way to do it! I use notability and it has been great (plus you can record the lectures while you are taking notes) the textbook thing was HARD! I love physical books, but our program provides all the books online, so yeah... I think you have to be adaptable in order to be successful. If you are not tied down to an area, it would be ideal to be close to your program for sure.

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14 hours ago, 1madmamma said:

I don’t think it sets me behind at all, I have a system and it has worked so far!! 🙂 I’m super grateful to be in this program (they are really supportive of their students) and that helps keep me motivated when I’m having a rough day. It would have been a hassle for us to move and I don’t mind driving. I’m lucky because living in CT I had a lot of options for PA school that were all in within a 2 hour drive (that was my max)  In terms of studying, you may have to seriously consider revamping how you study- I was a hard and firm textbook/ print out the powerpoints girl- well one pharmacology lecture was 200 slides- there was no reasonable way to do it! I use notability and it has been great (plus you can record the lectures while you are taking notes) the textbook thing was HARD! I love physical books, but our program provides all the books online, so yeah... I think you have to be adaptable in order to be successful. If you are not tied down to an area, it would be ideal to be close to your program for sure.

I am not tied down, just worries about money! Thank you so much for all the information. Soooo helpful. I wish you luck with the rest of school!

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Back in the day, I commuted for the first summer term of my PA program, about 1.5 hours each way.  For the next didactic year, I rented a cheap apartment near the school.  I would drive up either Sunday night or Monday morning and head back home on Friday after class.  This saved me about 12 hours a week and a lot of gas money.  The gas savings probably paid at least 1/2 of my rent.  My clinicals were all over, so I used my house as my home base and gave up the apartment.  I would get a cheap motel room on the call-back days/weeks during clinical year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had an hour commute during PA school. Listened to lectures every day to and from school. I would have rather lived closer but didn't have that option and listening to lectures made the most of it. It's doable but can be exhausting driving an hour to get home after you been in class for 8 hours then in the library for 3 to 4 hours. 

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I lived 100 feet from a train line that ran directly into downtown philadelphia and dropped me a block from school. 45 min ride each way. sometime studied, often just drank coffee and looked out the window. 

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