Jump to content
anj

Living in a small town near Edmonton during school

Recommended Posts

Hey all, I just needed some advice here. I’m planning to live with my parents during law school, and although they’ve lived in Edmonton my whole life, they are planning to move to a small town about 25 minutes out of the city in the coming months. 
 

I’d like to hear from people who are from towns around Edmonton such as Leduc, St. Albert, Beaumont, or any place that’s about a half hour or more drive out of the city. What are your experiences in terms of time management, driving, how tired you are from all the driving, and what kind of impact all that may have had on your grades and such.

Should I be making arrangements to live in the city instead? I’d be living rent free if I stick around with my parents though.

i hope there’s someone here who can comment on this!

edit: it would take me a minimum of 45 minutes to drive to school Under normal conditions

Edited by anj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up living in one of the places you mentioned and commuted during undergrad. My daily commute was around 45 minutes (sometimes less, sometimes over an hour on a few really bad days). 

I definitely did not appreciate spending so much time driving each day, but it was manageable. Near the end I got smarter and started to schedule myself to drive during off-peak hours for the most part, which was great. The downside is it sometimes meant spending 10+ hours a day at school to avoid rush hour. Traffic near school can get bad, but a decent chunk of it is highway driving (at least for me, or for Leduc/Beaumont in your case), which I personally find relaxing. If you hate driving with passion you may find the experience different. The downside (other than some hairy moments during the last 4 years, get winter tires) is that parking is $$$. I used to listen to my notes while driving, which was a great studying tool, so you can definitely recoup the time. There are some social disadvantages you may experience if you drink (you can't really drink and then Uber cheaply home to Leduc, or at least I didn't do it) which may "cap your style" but that's probably not a big deal to most. 

Now, I wasn't in Law school, but I know my grades were not negatively impacted, but there were definitely some very long weeks in the semester where the time difference may have made me feel better about how life was going. To me, the several thousand dollar difference in cost between living at home vs. renting is huge. Especially if your parents help support car costs as well. The only way you're coming out ahead renting is if you rent cheaply and don't drive, and even then, the space and support advantages most people experience at home are great. Take the financial advantages living at home provides as long as you possibly can during school, future you will be thankful. 

Edited by LawCS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LawCS said:

I grew up living in one of the places you mentioned and commuted during undergrad. My daily commute was around 45 minutes (sometimes less, sometimes over an hour on a few really bad days). 

I definitely did not appreciate spending so much time driving each day, but it was manageable. Near the end I got smarter and started to schedule myself to drive during off-peak hours for the most part, which was great. The downside is it sometimes meant spending 10+ hours a day at school to avoid rush hour. Traffic near school can get bad, but a decent chunk of it is highway driving (at least for me, or for Leduc/Beaumont in your case), which I personally find relaxing. If you hate driving with passion you may find the experience different. The downside (other than some hairy moments during the last 4 years, get winter tires) is that parking is $$$. I used to listen to my notes while driving, which was a great studying tool, so you can definitely recoup the time. There are some social disadvantages you may experience if you drink (you can't really drink and then Uber cheaply home to Leduc, or at least I didn't do it) which may "cap your style" but that's probably not a big deal to most. 

Now, I wasn't in Law school, but I know my grades were not negatively impacted, but there were definitely some very long weeks in the semester where the time difference may have made me feel better about how life was going. To me, the several thousand dollar difference in cost between living at home vs. renting is huge. Especially if your parents help support car costs as well. The only way you're coming out ahead renting is if you rent cheaply and don't drive, and even then, the space and support advantages most people experience at home are great. Take the financial advantages living at home provides as long as you possibly can during school, future you will be thankful. 

Thanks so much for replying! It sounds like you were coming from around St. Albert which is close to where I’d be living. Hearing your advice makes me feel a little better about the move.

If I stay with my parents, the only thing I’d be paying for is parking (car is theirs, and they pay gas and insurance), but if I live on my own I’d probably walk or bus/lrt to school. Either way, I think it’s cheaper to stay with my parents 😂

What was your experience regarding social life with your friends in the city? Did you miss out more with having to leave earlier to get home, or even not going just because you didn’t want to drive or be out for so long? Almost all of my friends and my s/o live in south Edmonton so I’m kind of anxious about being so far away too.

And how scary exactly is highway winter driving? I’m terrified of winter driving as is 😭

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In your situation the economic benefits are clear. 

In all honesty I was never much of a social butterfly in undergrad. Work and school came first until 4th year. I never felt that my drive impacted this all that much, if I felt like staying late on a Friday night I'd pay the price on Saturday morning. It takes >15 minutes to get anywhere in Edmonton, so a 45 minute drive (faster late at night) isn't that bad at all. When you're younger you can shrug off those kinds of sleep deficits better. It's not great that your friends are on the ither side of the city, but the Henday is really a traffic marvel so its not that big of an issue. The cost benefit analysis for missing the odd get together due to bad weather or not feeling the drive is well worth it in my opinion. 

Winter driving skills develop with time and practice so you'll get better over time. The one caveat us you should absolutely get quality winter tires. Guilt your parents into it by talking safety if need be. Maybe I'm the only one, but after 4 years of driving a 2 wheel drive car, I feel safer on the Henday than on regional highways, and the least safe in the city itself. Maybe I'm the young and foolish one, but I've often turned onto the Henday or smaller highways after driving on range roads and been surprised to see people are not going faster on the much better maintained highways. Other than unploughed range roads, city streets are the worst, so of you already drive them you're fine. Even if you're new to winter driving just take it slow, assume everyone else is a horrible driver on bald summer tires, and leave space. In all those years I can count the white knuckle commutes on one hand, most winter drives are benign, and if it's really bad, just stay home, people will understand. There are also winter driving courses that may count for insurance credits (I'm not sure) if you're really concerned. Go spin donuts in the snow in a wide open parking lot once winter hits to learn how to handle your car on snow and ice and it'll go a long way. 

You'll also lose 1/6 semesters of winter driving, probably some portion of 2/6 if we're being realistic about reopening timelines, so it won't be that bad. Just remember all that money you're saving when you make the daily commute. 

Edited by LawCS
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh I feel a lot better about the time aspect after this. And I will definitely look in to getting winter tires! Thank you so much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St. Albert actually has bus routes that go to the U of A. You just hop on the 201 and you're there! Took me about 20 mins on the bus from U of A to St. A. 

Source: I live in Edmonton and had to bus a lot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Kingifer said:

St. Albert actually has bus routes that go to the U of A. You just hop on the 201 and you're there! Took me about 20 mins on the bus from U of A to St. A. 

Source: I live in Edmonton and had to bus a lot. 

How late at night do these buses run? From my understanding it’s not ETS right

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually spend most of my time studying on campus^ that’s why I ask

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, anj said:

How late at night do these buses run? From my understanding it’s not ETS right

I'm not sure about right now with covid19 but on a normal schedule the busses and LRT usually run until 1 am. 

St. A is close but Leduc and Beaumont are very far. I think they have their own bus routes as well but I've never taken them and I wouldn't live there. They're just way too far from everything. I think St. A is a reasonable distance. I live downtown and St. A is about a 15 minute drive from me, whereas Beaumont and Leduc are about 45 mins. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to drive from Fort Saskatchewan to downtown Edmonton during the morning rush hour once. It was not something I would ever want to do daily. IIRC it was supposed to be a 40 minute drive but turned into well over an hour. I'm not sure if that was bad luck or normal, but I remember being glad I didn't have anything booked for the first hour I was supposed to be there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Kingifer said:

I'm not sure about right now with covid19 but on a normal schedule the busses and LRT usually run until 1 am. 

St. A is close but Leduc and Beaumont are very far. I think they have their own bus routes as well but I've never taken them and I wouldn't live there. They're just way too far from everything. I think St. A is a reasonable distance. I live downtown and St. A is about a 15 minute drive from me, whereas Beaumont and Leduc are about 45 mins. 

I’d be living close to St. Albert so your response was very helpful, thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, NeverTooLate said:

I had to drive from Fort Saskatchewan to downtown Edmonton during the morning rush hour once. It was not something I would ever want to do daily. IIRC it was supposed to be a 40 minute drive but turned into well over an hour. I'm not sure if that was bad luck or normal, but I remember being glad I didn't have anything booked for the first hour I was supposed to be there.

I’m mortified of rush hour traffic, especially in the winter. If I end up not driving to school I hope the bus lines run on off peak times 😭 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, anj said:

I’d be living close to St. Albert so your response was very helpful, thank you!

Oh ya, St. A is very doable. It's just one bus and it stops right in front of the law building. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, anj said:

I’m mortified of rush hour traffic, especially in the winter. If I end up not driving to school I hope the bus lines run on off peak times 😭 

I live in Calgary where the LRT and buses that go downtown are nowadays more reliable than they used to be. I have only taken transit few times in Edmonton and none in the recent past, so I can't really comment on how they would be. In any case I would vet that about the specific area you end up and plan accordingly. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NeverTooLate said:

I live in Calgary where the LRT and buses that go downtown are nowadays more reliable than they used to be. I have only taken transit few times in Edmonton and none in the recent past, so I can't really comment on how they would be. In any case I would vet that about the specific area you end up and plan accordingly. 

Edmonton bus drivers are aggressive asf. Sometimes it's actually quicker to hop on the bus than it is to drive because they have bus lanes and muscle their way through traffic. It's actually quite hilarious (and terrifying). But I would say the bus routes from campus to St. A are pretty reliable! I've taken them in the winter and they're fine. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Kingifer said:

Edmonton bus drivers are aggressive asf. Sometimes it's actually quicker to hop on the bus than it is to drive because they have bus lanes and muscle their way through traffic. It's actually quite hilarious (and terrifying). But I would say the bus routes from campus to St. A are pretty reliable! I've taken them in the winter and they're fine. 

I don’t normally take the bus so I never knew this hahaha. Looks like the bus route is the way to go!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live north of St. Albert and drove every single morning for my classes. Minimally impacted my life and school. I loved my commute. Used to take the St. Albert bus - cold AF during the dead of winter. If you choose to drive, make sure to get a parking pass. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...