Commute to Drexel?

snapdad

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    Hi all,

    Just looking for some advice. I'll be starting at Drexel this fall, and am looking forward to it. As it turns out, my girlfriend will be in school in D.C., and we're considering getting a place halfway between our schools in order to be together and cut overhead. The place we looked at is about 80 miles away from school on Route 1, which took about an hour-and-a-half to drive. My question is, is this kind of commute possible with med school? I know Drexel's lectures are available online so I thought about trying to telecommute a couple of days a week, but I'm concerned about the drive cutting too much into study time, and also making extracurriculars difficult. Also, I've heard that a lot of the classes have quizzes fairly often, which would make telecommuting a non-option. Because of this I also looked at some places near school, but obviously would rather live with my girlfriend. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
     

    kcrd

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      I don't know the exact route that you are planning, but many roads heading towards philly have really awful rush hour traffic, so I don't think you could count on an 80 mile drive taking you only 90 minutes. DC has even worse traffic. I don't mean to disappoint you, but I don't think that your plan is realistic. Can't you just see each other on the weekends?
       

      snapdad

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        Yeah, that's exactly what I'm trying to figure out. I'm not from Philly, so I don't really have much perspective on commute times or how much time I actually have to spend on campus, realistically. We did do our test drive during morning rush hour, and it was godawful near school...the I-76/Route 1 area was a mess (although it got better pretty quickly as I got away from the highways, although admittedly we were heading south away from Philly rather than into town). I may just end up getting a place near campus (we looked at a few), but I'm trying to figure out if commuting is even a possibility.
         
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        AntGod22

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          I think it can totally be done. I live very close to drexel, and I go to class sometimes. most of the time you just read your notes and then if something is unclear you watch the lectures. You have to expect to go to drexel about 2 to 3 times a week. Some weeks might be more but atleast you can show up when you want pretty much for anatomy lab. Micro lab is the same thing. But then you miss out on having instructors there to help you since your going not with the class at the designated time. I personally think though if you truely want to live with her, then do it. It mught require a little bit of effort in some way but the drive will be nice and relaxing for your brain also.
           

          nutmegs

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            route 1 is a b*tch. the idea of living together is cool, but I honestly would probably go nuts if I had to drive that much every day. I would say you are better off each getting your own place by your schools, then just spending long weekends together- take those telecommunting days and do them from her place, whatever. I hate to be the unromantic, but I honestly think it'd be in the best interest of both of you.
             

            babinski bob

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              I would say it's doable. Basically, if you want to do well in class tests, you just need to know the module notes really really well and watch videos (or scribes). The only times you'd need to go to class would be for gross anatomy labs. I don't know if the micro labs are required but they weren't when I was a first year. The only thing that I think might not be so good is that if you lived together, you might not be able to concentrate and spend your days effectively studying. Also what happens on test days? You might have to pull all-nighters at school to ensure that you get there on time. In anycase, class is not really necessary at all. I guess it depends on what type of a learner you are though..
               

              Pembleton

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                I wouldn't recommend it. I live in Delaware and on a good day it only takes 30 minutes to get into Philly but those good days are few and far between. I'm not in Med school but I am in grad school and the long drive isn't relaxing and it takes away from time studying.

                I've also lived in DC and I know how horrible I95/I495 can be.

                I agree with the previous posters regarding pulling all nighters. You won't want to drive home at 2 or 3AM.
                 

                snapdad

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                  This is all really useful...thanks!

                  A couple of additional questions: What's the snow like in the winter in that area? Does it hamper traffic much? Also, for those who attend Drexel, are there a lot of quizzes, extracurriculars, etc. that would make it impractical to telecommute?
                   
                  F

                  ForensicPath

                    As of right now, I will also be attending Drexel in the fall. I also currently live about 5 miles away right off of route 1. Thankfully, I don't have to drive that road everyday to and from my undergrad classes (although the road I do take is not much better). The traffic in this area is not good at all, and in the winter it is even worse. We had a number of snowfalls this year and driving was a nightmare. The philadelphia snow cleanup is nowhere near as efficient as it would be in say upstate new york or new england. As for myself, I know that I would be miserable if I had to sit in traffic for multiple hours a few days a week.
                     

                    jazz

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                      i would not do the commute thing.

                      traffic in the entire area is horrible. the schukyill (I76) is often like one giant parking lot. the traffic reports on the radio will be like "there is an 18 MILE back up on the schuykill..."

                      i would get a place around drexel. even if you don't go to class, you will have lots of time off during the day and thus get more studying done. this will free up your weekends and allow you to commute to dc. if you travel on off hours -- you will have a much smoother, less aggravating drive.

                      driving around philly -- a 10 mile drive can easily take up to an hour if you have to deal with traffic...
                       
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                      ForensicPath

                        I don't mean to hijack this thread, but it is sort of related to the commute question.

                        Do any current Drexel students live in Center City? If so, how is the commute and is public transportation to Drexel from Center City a feasible option. There are two reasons I ask this. The first is that I think I would like to live in CC and the second is that I am currently on the waitlist at Jefferson. While Drexel is my second choice, Jeff is my first (mostly based on location). I live in the philly suburbs right now (ardmore), but my apartment lease is up at the end of May. I kind of want to start looking for an apartment in philadelphia before I go home to new york for the summer, but I don't know where I am going to school yet. If I get an apartment in center city I could theoretically live there if I went to either Jeff or Drexel. Any opinions?
                         

                        snapdad

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                          No worries about the "thread hijack." My question has pretty much been answered -- I think I'm going to stick near school for the first year at least -- and this could be useful info as well, as I'll be looking for a place in Philly in the fall. In addition to Center City, does anyone know of apartments near Drexel they'd recommend?
                           
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                          snapdad

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                            doc05 said:
                            dude, don't commute to school. it will be a nite-mare

                            Me or ForensicPath? I'm not planning on it...I've gotten some great advice from folks that don't recommend it for the first year at the very least, as well as the clinical years. I'll probably just live in the area all four years and commute to D.C. occasionally to see my gf. Seems like living in Center City would be doable though...someone mentioned on another thread recently that there was a "dedicated group" of Center City-living Drexel students and that the commute wasn't too bad because it was the opposite direction of most of the traffic.
                             

                            jazz

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                              the reverse commute is doable -- stay off the schuykill (you can take kelly drive, west river drive). drexel also has a shuttle that runs every half hour to hour (depends on the time of day) from hahnemann (broad and vine) to queen lane. the big problem with this reverse commute is parking and driving in center city. depending on what time you leave for class, it could take you at least 15 minutes to get out of center city (small, narrow congested streets) to reach kelly drive/art museum (where it will be 10-15 minutes of smooth sailing). also, parking in center city is a nightmare and private garages run between 150-200 bucks a month. you can get a resident permit (not very expensive like 30 bucks a year) but that does not guarantee you parking -- just allows you to park around your house and ignore the 2-hr limits, etc. however, the downside (there always is one) is that you have to have your car insured in center city to get the resident permit and car insurance in philly is high (i'm not exaggerating when i say most people pay between 1500-2000 a year per car.)
                               

                              mimi1

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                                I am also going to Drexel in the fall. My bf and I are thinking about buying a condo/townhouse/small house in Philly. Can anyone recommend good neighborhoods to check out? We've thought about East Falls, Manayunk, the Art Museum District, and Center City. My bf will be going to Penn, so maybe we could look their. Any thoughts on these areas in terms of niceness, affordability, commute to Drexel/Penn?

                                Please any advice would be great!
                                 

                                snapdad

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                                  jazz said:
                                  you have to have your car insured in center city to get the resident permit and car insurance in philly is high (i'm not exaggerating when i say most people pay between 1500-2000 a year per car.)

                                  $1500-$2000/year? That is high. I pay around $760/year in Denver. Is that true for Philly as a whole, or just Center City?
                                   

                                  jazz

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                                    $1500-$2000/year? That is high. I pay around $760/year in Denver. Is that true for Philly as a whole, or just Center City?

                                    yea, it's high. it's pretty much all of philadelphia -- maybe 100-200 less if you're in east falls, roxborough. and even lower if you are out on the main line but nothing compared to other cities. i grew up west too and the denver prices were what i was used to. a lot of med students keep their car registered elsewhere -- it probably consititues insurance fraud but many do it.
                                     
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                                    ForensicPath

                                      I'm from New York, so those prices are no big deal to me. I was actually considering selling my car (I could get ~$5000) and relying solely on public transportation/other people to get around. I would squirrel the money away before my car depreciates even more and save some more money to buy another car before 3rd year. This is one of the reasons why I would like to consider Center City as a living option. Obviously I would like to live near one of the Septa stations (ie Suburban or Market).
                                       

                                      snapdad

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                                        ForensicPath and others: This is from a recent thread called "help from current drexel students." (It's probably just cluelessness on my part with the new format, but I did a search and couldn't find the actual thread. I saved it when it was posted because I found it useful.)

                                        Originally posted by Shigalosis:

                                        Lay of the Land:
                                        East Falls is a community bordered by the schuylkill river and 76 to the South, Route 1 to the West, the rolling and rocky expanse of Fairmount park to the North and East. All of "civilization" extends down hill from the school towards the river. East Falls proper (at the bottom of the hill) has a several deli's, a pizza place, a coffee house, and a mexican restaurant. Nearby Manayunk has a very active night life making parking a problem on the weekends if you live there (as I do). Manayunk has plenty of dining options though -- a late night (3 am and 24 hr on weekend) diner, movie theater, several bars, greek restaurant, indian restaurant, 2 sandwich shops, 3 coffee shops, and several upscale restaurants. Up on higher ground, Ridge Ave cuts past queen lane and continues Eastward where several strip malls offer all the junk food that makes up your pre-exam meal diet. There are also some modest apartment buildings here but I wouldn't recommend them because the distance:expense ratio doesn't make it worthwhile.

                                        Apartment Complexes:
                                        School Lane House:
                                        Big 50s style apartment complex, your cheapest bet with cramped "1 br Junior apt" going for around 600 when I looked and larger, but still small apts around. Most students end up here but it's not the nicest. Doorman. 3 blocks from school

                                        Empyrean:
                                        Huge megaapartment complex. Lacks student population. Pretty nice from what I've seen but the surrounding area is less nice. I would have a small nagging fear about safety here. Doorman. Short drive from school.

                                        Alden Park:
                                        Gorgeous prewar apartment with big lofty rooms and wrought iron factory windows. Gated parking. Doorman and many amenities (gym, pool, etc.) The others have amenities too but I'm not sure exactly what they are. 3-4 blocks from school. Obviously the most expensive but great if you can find 2-3 others to go in with you and can grab one of the great 3 bedroom spaces.

                                        Smaller Apartment Complexes:
                                        All dot queen lane (across the street from school) Charlwin apts and 100% occupied by drexel med students. Good location. Not sure on price. Con: you never leave school.

                                        Rental/Housing (need car):
                                        Indian Queen Lane (East Falls):
                                        Big old houses abutting MCP hospital. Cheap if you go with roommates. All have basement, roomy front porch, and big backyard. Mostly drexel students but some from neighboring Philadelphia U, St. Joseph, etc.. (10 blocks from school)

                                        Manayunk (Manayunk):
                                        Great location but 5-10 min drive to campus. Rent reasonably priced and walking distance to manayunk events. Row homes often rent out the top two floors or bottom floor + basement.Parking can be a problem on weekends as the town fills up. But study spots in coffee shops are within walking distance.

                                        Off-Off-Campus (Living in Center City):
                                        Another great option that a dedicated group of students choose. Maybe better as a second year option because if you do it first year, it's hard to meet people because you're always commuting. You do the reverse commute (going outbound when everyone is coming inbound). Look for Museum Towers, 2801, or big housing in "Art Museum Area". Commute is 15-20 by car with no traffic. Averages about 30 in A.M..
                                         

                                        frog4brooke

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                                          I have a Philadelphia-commuting question. I will be a EM resident and Einstein and my husband will be at Penn.

                                          We have found a nice townhouse in a neighborhood I like in S. Phila, what do you guys think the commute would be like up 76 to 1 to get to Einstein? It took 25-30 min with some heavy weekend traffic, and I really do not want to drive more then 40min-Is this a realistic possiblility?

                                          Thanks!

                                          f4b
                                           

                                          snapdad

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                                            jazz said:
                                            man, don't even get on 76 during weekday traffic. my experience is that it is one big parking lot. i wrote a long reply to your other post....

                                            I was out there a couple of weeks ago and this was exactly how I-76 was during morning rush hour. Absolutely terrible traffic.
                                             
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