High Gas Prices Leave Strain on Students

by Danielle Black | Contributor

Photo by: Lauryn Gunn | Photographer

After the pandemic, people were excited about returning to reality again, as some called it. However, with food products nearly doubling in price and the recent surge of gas prices, we now find ourselves in a new reality not many expected, and students, specifically commuter students, are feeling the strain.

“I spend more money on gas than I do other things,” said Zuleima Russell, a graduate student at South and mom of four. “Most college students are working part/full-time jobs to be able to afford college or just books themselves.”

High gas prices could make the balance of school, work and family life more of a burden, affecting everything from visiting family and summer vacations to going out with friends and even commuting to campus.

“I believe that soon, we will see a decrease of students that live off-campus who travel to take lecture courses on-campus,” said Russell.

The excitement to get back into our normal lives began coupled with high gas prices is prompting many to choose their activities carefully. Elizabeth Dumas, a nursing major, travels 30-40 minutes to get to school, which impacts her other travel plans.

“When gas prices started going up, my dad told me to lighten up traveling everywhere,” said Dumas. “I have had to cancel plans and make fewer plans now. I also can’t meet my friends and go to other places as much or go into town on the weekdays.”

Despite the rise in gas prices, Dumas does not believe it will prompt a change to in-person classes as COVID did.

“I do not believe that this issue will push us back into virtual learning,” said Dumas. “Life will continue with this new change.”