STUDENT BLOG: Commuters Guide to USC – For The 10% of Students Who Need It

Yes, it’s true! As a commuter, you are a part of 10% of students who commute to school. Welcome to the elite life of commuting. #commuterlife #trafficselfie #commuterstudent

Now, here are 10 things you need to know:

1.    Reserve your parking pass as soon as you can

  • Once you have decided that you want to commute to campus, look into the different parking pass options at USC.
  • There are a number of different parking structures to choose from, but act quickly because some parking structures sell out of permits fast!
  • Here is a link to USC’s Transportation Office:

2.    Download the App WAZE

  • WAZE is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app.
  • Once signed up through the app, you get alerts before you approach police, accidents, road hazards or traffic jams all in real time.
  • I have used this app many times and I have to admit that when I am running late for class, WAZE saves me 10 to 15 minutes for my commute!

3.    Aim to show up at least 15 minutes before class starts

  • Although apps like WAZE are awesome with helping you find short cuts to get to school, remember that you are going to be commuting through Los Angeles!
  • I usually give myself an hour of commuting time. So if my class starts at 10am I usually will leave my home in Glendale around 9am.
  • Remember, commuting is less stressful when you give yourself enough time to get to school. Don’t make commuting the stressful part of your day!

4.    Heavy traffic times to avoid in Los Angeles

  • Morning Rush: 7am to 10am
  • Evening Rush: 3:30pm to 8:30pm
  • A tip to avoid traffic? Try to schedule your classes during the times of rush hour!
  • This means that instead of sitting in a packed highway waiting for traffic to ease up, you will be in an air-conditioned classroom, not worrying about the traffic!

5. Make a good playlist for the drive

  • Make a playlist that will put you in a happy and relaxed mood.
  • Maybe add some songs that make you dance or sing on the top of your lungs!

6.    Pack an extra layer of clothing and different shoes and your schoolbooks in your car there too

  • I’ve learned that keeping a sweater or an extra pair of shoes prepares you for any weather change.
  • Believe it or not weather in Los Angeles does change. Mornings can be cool and overcast and then the afternoons can be sunny and hot!.
  • Also, keeping your books in the car helps out a lot. So that one morning when you are running late and run out your house to make it to school on time, you won’t need to worry about forgetting your books at home.

7.    Check out what events are going on near campus so that you could maneuver around the traffic.

  • We all love our Los Angeles sports teams, the Dodgers, Clippers, Lakers, the Kings, and the Sparks, but not when their games cause major traffic delays.
  • I recommend putting reminders on your phone about major events near campus so that you could avoid the traffic

8.    Check out what events are going on on-campus so that you could stay and enjoy

  • Need another excuse to avoid the traffic? Check out the events going on at USC.
  • Organizations famous for student events are Vision and Voices and Campus Activities.
  • Here is a link to USC’s event calendar:

9.    If you are sick of paying for overpriced gas, skip the traffic and take public transportation

  • Take a train or Metro that connects to Union Station Downtown and then hop onto a USC shuttle that will drop you off directly at USC.
  • The Union Station shuttle service runs from 6:06 AM to 10:15 PM, Monday-Friday.
  • Also, the Metro line on Exposition has three stops at USC. Here is the link to the Metro Expo Line with information about connections and schedules:

10.  Don’t stress out over commuting

  • Although traffic can be draining and annoying, there are many ways to prepare yourself to live the commuter life. Hopefully this list has helped you.
  • If you don’t need to rush home, don’t! Spend some time on campus doing homework in the library or hang out with friends and classmates.






4 thoughts on “STUDENT BLOG: Commuters Guide to USC – For The 10% of Students Who Need It”

    1. Hi Emily, Students are never required to live on campus. So yes, you can commute as a freshman.

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