Law School Discussion

To commute (Atlanta to Athens), or not to commute...

To commute (Atlanta to Athens), or not to commute...
« on: September 29, 2009, 10:24:08 PM »
Hey Guys,
It's a bit early to be worrying about this, but I am, so I thought I'd ask.  I'm more than likely going to be going to UGA next fall and am wondering whether I should commute to Athens daily or not.  I'd be commuting from Lawrenceville (probably an hour door to door), where my mother, who works in Atlanta, has offered to move if I go to UGA.  I'd be able to live with her for free and save all that money for three years.  I'd also have someone to help me with my dog, who might be a little neglected if it was just me taking care of her.  So that's my dillemma. 
I guess the big question is this: is the free rent/utilities and help with the dog worth losing opportunities to socialize, network, and run to the library at a moment's notice?  And also, am I going to end up needing to stay on campus all day anyway in my first year?  Seeing my dog is important to me and if I am not going to be able to leave school till late in the evening most nights anyway, I might as well just move there so I can go home for lunch and save those two hours of commuting time for studying and playing with the dog.
Thanks for all advice!


Re: To commute (Atlanta to Athens), or not to commute...
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 11:54:53 AM »
As some who currently attends UGA as an undergrad, I would say commuting would be a back idea. I do know 1 or 2 people that make that commute to say money but they are also undergrad and have made there schedule where they only have classes on Tuesday and Thursday so they would only have to make the commute twice a week. Since, you won't have to much control over your schedule your first year of law school I would think the 2 hr drive everyday would be very inconvenient. 


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Re: To commute (Atlanta to Athens), or not to commute...
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 01:44:08 PM »
That's a pretty tough decision...I'm inclined to say you'd be better off moving to Athens.  2 hours of driving each day probably won't be worth it, for several reasons: you have to pay for gas, and that's a lot of time out of your day.  Most likely, it's 10 hours a week of driving, at least for your first year.  Depending on your gas mileage and gas prices, you really might not save a ton of money by commuting.

Also, I'd imagine you'd probably be happier in Athens when you'd  be able to go home and see your dog during the day and being around the area to  be able to socialize.  Maybe living in Lawrenceville might work out better after your first year when you can pick your schedule so that you don't have to be on campus every day.

Re: To commute (Atlanta to Athens), or not to commute...
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 08:33:50 AM »
Thanks for the input.  I've just been looking at the class schedules at UGA Law for this year's 1L class.  Every section can expect to have classes from 9:30-4:20 at least 3 or 4 days a week.  One or two days are shorter for some sections.  Doesn't look too promising.  I'd be leaving home at 8AM and getting home no earlier than 5:30 assuming I don't hit traffic (at rush hour) and don't have to spend time at the end of the day in the library...conditions that we all know are unrealistic.  I am really going to have to think hard about this.  The worst part is knowing I'd lose 40 hours a month that I could have spent studying...not to mention my poor dog!

Re: To commute (Atlanta to Athens), or not to commute...
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2009, 08:30:31 PM »
I actually commuted the other way last year living in Athens and going to school at Emory. It is expensive, it is a pain, it puts a lot of wear on your car, and 316 is a terribly boring drive with far too many red lights. I don't think spending 10-15 hours commuting every week is a good use of time for a 1L. Housing in Athens is also pretty affordable and its a very dog friendly town with several dog parks.


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Re: To commute (Atlanta to Athens), or not to commute...
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2009, 02:36:47 AM »
I've got a buddy who commutes into Atlanta from Cumming, which is about the same distance as Lawrenceville to Athens (I guess it's irrelevant that it's in Georgia, since 316 and 400 aren't at all comparable).  But in any event, he hates it.  His schedule is completely inflexible, and he says the driving runs him ragged.

He makes good grades, because in reality you do have 10 or 15 hours every week that you can blow.  But everybody else gets to spend those hours just relaxing; he doesn't do a thing besides drive & study.  He only does it because he didn't want to relocate his wife and kids.

Suffice it to say, you absolutely should not do this.  Get a roommate, tell your dog to tough it out for a few hours (or scratch together 80/wk for doggy daycare), whatever.  Just don't commute to your 1L year.

Re: To commute (Atlanta to Athens), or not to commute...
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2009, 01:01:11 AM »
Thanks! Good to hear from the voice of experience.

Re: To commute (Atlanta to Athens), or not to commute...
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2010, 10:41:00 AM »
I live in Athens now, but I commute to Cumming, and I can tell you if you're planning on going down 316 or 85 (depending on where in Lawrenceville you're starting) it can sometimes be double the drive time - especially at the times you'd be traveling.  I think you'd find that you'd be better off living in Athens.  If you were commuting along a less traveled route I might suggest differently, but from experience I can tell you 20/85/316 can be an unpredictable and nasty commute.

But its cool to see another Georgia 1L thinking about this sort of thing! I personally am trying to figure out if it would be wise to move a little more south of here and live outside of Augusta and commute.  My better half of nearly five years got into dental school there and MCG goes virtually year-round.  If you know of anybody who does that drive, let me know.  :)