Each morning Ean Herrington wakes up almost two hours before class. It isn’t because he’s extremely fashion-conscious or because he reserves an hour for yoga, he just happens to be 23 miles away from campus.
The Scottsville freshman chose to live at home while attending college because it saves him money. He has also heard his share of campus-lore about miserably small dorm rooms and noisy roommates.
“It’s nice to be able to study at home,” he said. “From everything I’ve heard about the dorms, I’m not sure I’d want to live there.”
Instead, Herrington wakes up, hops into his ’69 Chevelle, scarfs down a pop-tart and races to campus for a parking spot.
After careful consideration he decided to forego the $65 parking pass and just fend for his own spot off-campus.
Again, he wanted to save money. He also heard stories of people who bought the passes and still can’t find a spot. He didn’t want to shell out that much money just to join the stressful merry-go-round of parking.
“Now I have to get here earlier so I can find a spot,” he said. “I park on Park Street and just walk to 10 minutes to campus.”
The commute, as rewarding as it has been, is starting to take its toll on Herrington’s wallet and his car. He spends between $25 to $30 a week on gas, and he is now considering selling his car for something more gas-efficient.
“I always loved old cars,” Herrington said. “I’ve worked on them a lot, but this one is getting to be too much with gas and stuff.”
Though he’s planning on moving to Western for his junior year, the strains of a year and a half more of commuting are beginning to become clearer.
When Herrington scheduled his classes this semester he wasn’t very commuter smart. When it’s time to schedule for next semester, Herrington has vowed to pick all 8 a.m. classes so he can get in and get out.
“I love getting up early, he said. “And that way I can get out sooner and go to work.”
He isn’t sure where he is going to get a job yet. His biggest obstacle isn’t figuring out what company to work for, but what city to work in. If he works in Bowling Green it will be even longer days, and if he works in Scottsville it will be a rush to get back and forth.
Whatever he decides to do, chances are he will be deciding it when he’s on the road.
“I have long days,” he said. “But it’s mostly just driving. At the end of the day I’m too worn out to do much of anything.”