Commuting students say music helps during drive


Jake Brannon

First-year computer science student Tyler Lockman says he checks his social media and edits photos during his commute to school.

Jake Brannon, Reporter

Students who commute to AACC said in November they listen to music to make their drive more livable.

In an informal poll of 20 students who drive to school, 18 said they pass time during their commutes by listening to music on the radio or on their phones. Another seven said they listen to podcasts as well.

“Normally, I just listen to music, to kind of try and relax,” Ren Bishop, a second-year psychology student, said.

In a separate informal poll last semester, 20 of 25 commuters told Campus Current they could get to campus in 20 to 25 minutes, while four have a 10-minute commute and one who lives in Washington D.C., travels for more than 45 minutes.

Among the commuters in the first poll, 17 complained that traffic gets backed up on Ritchie Highway and other roads. And they said Ring Road on campus is just as bad as the highway because of construction.

“Some cons would definitely be the traffic, and the bad drivers, and if I’m running late, it gets [extended] because I’m so far away,” said Brandon Kirk, a second-year criminal justice student who lives on Kent Island.

Other students said they listen to e-books or just like to relax during their commutes to prepare for the day ahead.

Tyler Lockman, who takes the bus to and from campus, checks social media and likes to edit during his commute.

“Usually I just go on my phone [and] check social media,” Lockman said. “I sometimes do editing for photos.”

According to Alicia Renehan, public relations coordinator at AACC, 1,770 credit students live outside of Anne Arundel County.

Those students said they face their own struggles getting to campus every day from so far away.

The worst part, Myranda Smithburger, a second-year transfer studies student said, “is just the driving in general, and having to worry about traffic because you just don’t know.” Smithburger lives in Dunkirk, which is in Calvert County.

The students said their commutes, in general, are frustrating.

The most frustrating part about her commute, Isa Segura, a second-year transfer studies student, said, is “that it’s not closer, that school’s not closer to me, and I don’t want to go to” Prince George’s Community College. Segura lives in Upper Marlboro.

Another frustrating part of the commutes is the dense traffic on the roads, the students said.

“The traffic and the standstills, like if there’s an accident on Ritchie Highway or something, it really slows me down,” Jacob Vanskiver, a third-year cybersecurity student, said.

Students said their commutes last longer than they used to, thanks to the trouble they have finding parking on campus.

In another informal poll of 20 students, 13 said they have trouble finding parking spots.

“It takes me about like 20 minutes to find parking,” Segura said. “Because it takes so long to get here, I’m usually about 20 minutes late to class.”