Students adjust routines to accommodate commute for in-person school


Andrew Burke-Stevenson

Some students complete their homework on the train to better balance their school work.

Meena Lee, Sports and Leisure Editor

For the majority of the school year, going to class for junior Will Maharry was as simple as rolling out of bed and opening his computer. But with the beginning of hybrid learning in March and an expanded in-person program starting May 10, attending class has required a lot more time. 

With the new in-person schedule, students who live far from school have adjusted their routines to accommodate their commute, such as waking up earlier to balance school work. 

To get to school each day, Will travels from south suburban Homewood — a total of 45 minutes by car and then a train. To be on time, he needs to leave his house by 7:50 a.m. on school days following the “A” schedule, and 7 a.m. on “B” schedule days. For Will, this is a drastic change from distance learning earlier this year.

“When we were online, typically I would wake up five minutes before the class,” Will said. 

According to Will, he should be going to bed earlier to compensate for the early mornings, but he has found that shift challenging.

“I certainly feel more tired compared to remote learning, especially later in the day,” Will said. 

In order to balance school work, Will occasionally has completed work on the train, an adjustment that was not too difficult. 

“Honestly, during virtual school, I wasn’t really doing that much work in the time it would have taken me to commute,” Will said. “It hasn’t affected my homework that much.”

Sophomore Anika Gupta lives about 45 minutes from school in west suburban Oak Brook. Despite the distance, she has found a way to cut down her commute for the in-person schedule  — her first traveling to school since she began attending U-High just this year. Throughout the week, Anika stays with her uncle in the city which is just a 15-minute drive from school. Occasionally, she has also stayed at The Sophy in Hyde Park.

It was harder to manage my time now that I had less of it.”

— Anika Gupta

Even with her shortened commute, Anika’s balance of school work took some adjusting to once in-person school began.  

“Between classes I would work a lot because I would just stay at my desk all day,” Anika said. “And then after school, there was no delay and I could just start working right away. It was harder to manage my time now that I had less of it.” 

According to Anika, not staying at her house for days at a time has also been really difficult. 

“That is probably the worst part of this all because all of my stuff is at my house,” Anika said. “I don’t lug my textbooks back and forth, so I need to remember to take pictures of them, so that is a pain. Also, when the weather changes, I can only wear what I had already packed. It’s just those little things.”

Both Will and Anika say the experience of in-person school makes up for the challenges of commuting and time management. 

“It is definitely worth it for me,” Will said. “Because we have such a relaxed schedule with only three or four classes a day, it feels calmer. I think it’s also helpful for transitioning from full remote to next year’s full in-person school. It’s real school.”