Going the Distance" />
The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Going the Distance

FAR OUT The number of Hockaday Upper School girls residing in each zip code are represented by size of circle and distributed geographically. Graphic by Emily and Alaina

Students’ cope with coming to Hockaday while living over 30 minutes away from Hockaday

It’s 5:30 in the morning and senior Isabel is up and running. Having to make a 30 minute commute to school from South Dallas every day, hitting the snooze button after a late night of studying is never an option. If she is late, she will miss her ride to school–the bus.

“I take the bus because it’s the most feasible transportation from South Dallas. It is easier for me to take the bus than to ride to and from Hockaday,” Isabel said, “that could take about 40 minutes during traffic hours.”

While most Hockaday students don’t take the bus to school, those who make long commutes must sacrifice extra sleep to evade the usual morning traffic jams in order to make it to school on time. Long commutes often hinder students’ participation in school activities and events.

“My parents definitely do not allow me to attend a lot of school events if they end after dark, for fear of other reckless drivers during that time,” said junior Anase, who lives in Fairview and commutes over 40 minutes each way every day. The long drive “often times becomes a hassle to decide whether or not I want to stay in Dallas all day for the event or just stay at home,” she continued.

While many students who live farther away do participate in some sort of after school activity, it’s hard for parents who have to do pick up during rush hour. Junior Eliza, who lives in Plano, said “doing hell week for the musical puts an enormous strain on my family having to drive late at night. Plus doing sports or after school activities means being stuck in traffic for up to 50 minutes.”

Some students feel that their long commute limits their social activities more so than school. For sophomore Grace, who lives in Lakewood, “it’s a whole lot harder to get together with friends spontaneously when you’re 30 minutes away.”

When factoring in the gas prices and housing market, one might think it would be a lot easier to move closer to Hockaday and enjoy a shorter commute as well as more time for after-school activities. Most students agree, and have brought up the prospect of moving with their families.

For freshman Kathryn, going to school means a 45 minute to an hour trek across two major highways: I-30 and 635. Kathryn said her family has always considered moving –especially since her mother works at Hockaday.

Grace has mentioned to her parents the benefits of moving closer, but so far, she has not been successful.

One of the primary reasons families stay where they are is for parent’s jobs. For junior Linda’s family, moving closer to Hockaday has never been an option. “My dad’s work is in Denton, I go to school in Dallas. Carrollton’s really in the middle for both of us,” she said.

Conversely, some girls’ families are just happy where they are and tolerate the long commute. Despite having to drive 45 minutes to school every day, sophomore Miranda said she and her family are not quite ready to leave their home in Rowlett yet.

While each girl may have different reasons and challenges from living farther away from school, they are all on the same page when it comes to time constraints. “Managing my sleep and work load under different time constraints are the hardest parts of living far away from school,” Isabel said.  “For me, staying up till midnight might not be the same thing for someone who lives in North Dallas or even 10 minutes away from Hockaday.”

-Blair

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