Take the 1 Train

Daniela Lebron ’22 shares her experience as a commuter

By Daniela Lebron

A young woman stands in front of the train entrance.

I commute from Inwood, which is a 20-minute ride straight down to campus on the 1 train. When I decided to attend Barnard, commuting seemed to make the most sense. If I’m from New York City and live relatively close, why would I dorm? Throughout my first year at Barnard, I was constantly asked, “Oh, you’re a commuter? What’s that like?”

Commuting is all about timing, which is something that, although it seems obvious, can be very complicated. Traveling to campus makes you plan every moment down to a T. I plan my class schedule, sleep schedule, work schedule, clubs, social outings, and workouts around my commute to and from campus.

Now that I am in the second semester of my sophomore year, I’ve learned how to balance classes, work, and extracurriculars with commuting. I like to structure my day so class starts in the late morning and goes until the mid-afternoon/early evening, followed by work, clubs, or events. This gives me the ability to spend more time on campus and do all of the things I would’ve done as a residential student, without tiring myself out. Throughout the day I like to stop by the commuter lounge (in the Diana Center), which is an opportunity for me to see friends and take a moment to relax. The lounge fosters a sense of community among a group of people with shared experience.

While commuting comes with its own learning curve, there are upsides: It allows me to participate in the Barnard community but also go home every day, see my family, my cat, and get space and time to myself, away from campus, which is something I wouldn’t change for the world. 

Daniela's Commute

Daniela prepares for the day ahead in her kitchen.

She gives her cat, Leyla, one last hug before she embarks on her commute. 

Daniela exits her apartment building in Inwood, embarking on her journey to Barnard.

The 5-minute walk from her apartment building to the subway takes her beneath the elevated 1 train to the 215 Street station.

Daniela waits for the 1 train to arrive on the platform — it is a quick 20-minute ride to campus.

The subway ride is an opportunity for Daniela to get some reading done before a day of classes and extracurriculars.

Once on campus, Daniela stops by the commuter lounge to check email with a friend before class.

Latest IssueWinter 2021

In this issue, learn about three alums who have devoted their careers to racial justice.