+
upworthy
Education

Grad student in California commuted from L.A. to class in the Bay Area by plane to save on rent

He made the trip from Los Angeles to Cal Berkeley and back an average of 3 days a week.

berkeley, cal berkely, expensive rent

The inside of a commercial airliner.

Even though Los Angeles and San Francisco are both in California, they are still 380 miles apart, which either involves an hour-and-fifteen-minute-long flight or a roughly 7-hour drive.

An engineer in Los Angeles named Bill got accepted into a one-year master’s degree program at Cal Berkeley but was put off by the idea of paying the astronomical rent in the Bay Area. Berkeley is located just north of Oakland in the East Bay, where the average rent is over $3500 a month.

Bill had an affordable place in L.A. and a job waiting for him when he finished school, so he decided he would do the unthinkable to most people, commute to school and back.

"I was living in LA comfortably. I got accepted into a one-year MEng program (technically August 2022-May 2023). I knew I would go back to LA after graduation because I want to go back to my previous employer once I graduate,” he shared on Reddit’s Berkeley subforum. “I love flying and I have a lot of frequent flyer miles/points from credit card sign up bonus/flying over the past few years. Bay area rent is expensive in general, and my program is only 10 months, so I thought I could get it through commuting by plane."

Bill had classes three days a week on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, but he booked flights for five days a week in case he had a meeting or an event he had to attend.


“If I don't need to come to campus that Tu/Th, I just cancel the tickets the night before and get a full refund. I have elite status with Alaska and Southwest, both offer a valuable perk called same-day change,” Bill said.

On a typical Monday and Wednesday during the fall schedule, when classes started at 10 am, he would wake up at 3:40 am in Los Angeles and drive to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for a 6:00 Alaska Airlines flight to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Upon arriving in the Bay, he would take the BART light-rail train to campus. For his 8 am Friday class, he would take the 5:30 am Southwest Flight to Oakland International Airport.

“If I'm hanging out with friends or working on hw/projects with cohort for a bit longer in the library, I would take the last flight home (905pm OAK-LAX on Southwest or 1030pm SFO-LAX on Alaska),” he continued. “But normally I would take the 6pm or 7pm flight and reach home around 930pm.”

Bill completed the degree program in 10 months, and the total cost for transportation was less than two months of rent living in Berkeley.

Total Cost:

$5592.66, with $671.29 on BART, $520.00 on parking, $1948.27 on gas, $39.96 on inflight wifi, $1552.10 on Alaska, 407500 Alaska miles, $758.24 on Southwest, 156945 Southwest points, $71.30 on United, 5500 United miles, $15.60 on Avianca, 6500 Avianca miles, $15.90 on Spirit. 114 trips, 238 flights, 92089 miles flown, spent 75955 minutes on my commute, equivalent to 52.75 24-hr days.

But most importantly, Bill got his degree, and according to Fox 5 San Diego, he is now working full-time as a transportation engineer. He hopes to one day become Secretary of the U.S. Transportation Department, like Pete Buttigieg.

“This is probably one of the craziest things I’ve done in my life, and I’m so glad I made it through, without missing any classes,” Bill said. “That itself is a miracle.”

Health

Psychologist explains why everyone feels exhausted right now and it makes so much sense

Psychologist Naomi Holdt beautifully explained what's behind the overarching exhaustion people are feeling and it makes perfect sense.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

It seems like most people are feeling wiped out these days. There's a reason for that.

We're about to wrap up year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's been a weird ride, to say the least. These years have been hard, frustrating, confusing and tragic, and yet we keep on keeping on.

Except the keeping on part isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc, we've sort of collectively decided to move on, come what may. This year has been an experiment in normalcy, but one without a testable hypothesis or clear design. And it's taken a toll. So many people are feeling tired, exhausted, worn thin ("like butter scraped over too much bread," as Bilbo Baggins put it) these days.

But why?

Keep ReadingShow less

Can a dog really trust you?

Dogs can smell fear, but can they sniff out the truth? Your dog might actually be smarter than you're giving it credit for. It turns out, dogs are pretty good at picking up on human behavior. Science says so. A team led by Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University in Japan conducted a study which found out that dogs actually know if you're to be believed or not.

The study involved tricking dogs in the name of science. Humans have known for a long time that if you point at an object, a dog will run to it. Researchers utilized this information in their study. During the experiment, they pointed at a container that was filled with hidden food. Sure enough, the dog ran towards the container. Then, they pointed at a container that was empty. The dogs ran towards it, but found that it had no food.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Single mom's advice for anyone with sons on Thanksgiving is a must read

She was shocked by the amount of reactions—both good and bad—that her viral tweet ignited.

Canva

One single mom went viral for encouraging parents to let boys help with the holiday cooking

Last year, single mom Emily Taylor made some sound Thanksgiving advice that is still great food for thought.

As Taylor shared with Today.com, she had been talking with another parent, one who had two adult sons, when they argued that “boys can't stay in the kitchen all day like girls can when helping with Thanksgiving stuff.”

Taylor was, as she put it, “flabbergasted,” and continued to ponder that comment until she was compelled to share her own thoughts on the subject.

Keep ReadingShow less

All GIFs and images via Exposure Labs.


Photographer James Balog and his crew were hanging out near a glacier when their camera captured something extraordinary.

They were in Greenland, gathering footage from the time-lapse they'd positioned all around the Arctic Circle for the last several years.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

A husband took these photos of his wife and captured love and loss beautifully.

I feel as if I were right there with them as I looked through the photos.

Snuggles.

When I saw these incredible photos Angelo Merendino took of his wife, Jennifer, as she battled breast cancer, I felt that I shouldn't be seeing this snapshot of their intimate, private lives.

The photos humanize the face of cancer and capture the difficulty, fear, and pain that they experienced during the difficult time.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

There's a wonderful reason why Mister Rogers always said aloud he's feeding his fish

Warning: This article is about Fred Rogers and his neighborhood, so there's a 50/50 chance you'll shed a tear.



On Feb. 19, 2023, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," turned 55 years old. And the internet was feeling feelings over it.

After premiering on Canadian TV in 1963, Fred Rogers' beloved children's program debuted in the U.S. in 1968, inspiring generations of kids across North America to be more thoughtful, kinder neighbors.

Keep ReadingShow less