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Daily Commute Creates Difficulty

By Khloe Torres
On April 18, 2015


College can get a little rough at times, from the long sleepless nights of endless studying to the constant struggle of trying to juggle school life, college is tough. For students whose priorities are centered around school, work or maybe even both, life can get exceptionally difficult. What about the students that work, attend school full time, and commute nearly an hour each day? Which is almost impossible for them to have time do anything.

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) is located in Laredo, which for some students is an hour and fifteen minutes away from their home. Chelsea Garcia and Joey Gomez live in the little country town north of Laredo called Cotulla. Their town is anything but big; it is a small town that recently had an oil boom.

Garcia and Gomez graduated from a class of sixty students. Although they are from a small town, they both had big dreams and decided to attend TAMIU in the fall of 2011 to further educate themselves. Both students have struggled for the past four years with the sacrifices of school, as well as their drive from home to campus. Garcia and Gomez both decided that commuting was the better option because it saved them money and they were still able to be a part of their growing families’ lives.

For both Garcia and Gomez, family is everything. Gomez commented, “I don’t struggle in driving back and forth. I don’t like driving in a lot of traffic or in the bad weather, but my education is really important to me! I won’t stop or let anything get in my way of getting my degree.” Garcia also believes that commuting saves her money. She mentioned, “I don’t mind driving. I’ve learned to adapt to weather conditions. You just have to be careful and drive with precaution.”

Gomez is a full-time student at TAMIU who commutes and works a part-time job. He started a photography business, but only works on the weekends or when he is not attending school. Gomez’s weekends are always booked with either homework, taking pictures, or traveling to snap photos upon request. Gomez claims that although it has gotten hard, he feels that all the time and effort he puts into school will benefit him in the long run, and he does enjoy the extra cash.

When The Bridge asked the students why they commute, Garcia responded, “I decided to commute because it is really important for me to be home. I like to make sure my mom is okay. Ever since we lost my dad, things haven’t been the same. It is my responsibility to make sure all is well.” Garcia recently lost her father and has been taking care of her family and attending school ever since.  

Both Garcia and Gomez have been doing their best to manage going to school, taking care of their family, and working to get what they both have been desiring for some time: their degrees. Garcia will graduate this spring with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology and plans to work on her master’s degree shortly after. As for Gomez, he will be graduating this year with a BA in Biology and a minor in Criminal Justice and hopes to become a forensic chemist and continue to pursue his passion of photography. Eventually, Gomez would like to receive his master’s degree. Gomez is the first of his family of three to be receiving his degree. Garcia is the first of her family of eight to be receiving her degree. Hard work and dedication is all Gomez and Garcia recommend to those struggling with both work, school and commuting.

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