+
upworthy
Education

Student flies 400 miles to college twice a week because it's cheaper than renting

We're living in strange economic times.

man sitting on an airplane
Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash

Can flying to college twice a week really be cheaper than renting?

Some students choose to live at home while they go to college to save money on living expenses, but that's generally only an option for families who live in college towns or cities with large universities where a student can easily commute.

For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.

Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.


How does that math work? Well, each round trip flight costs around $150, so twice a week puts him at $1,200 a month for flights. Meanwhile, according to CTV, rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is around $2,100 (though according to reporting in the Vancouver Sun, the average 1-bedroom apartment has actually hit a whopping $3,000 a month). Chen had actually been living in Vancouver previously, but gave up his rental when he went on vacation. When he returned, the price on the place he'd been renting had gone up to $2,500.

"I thought, why don't I just stay at Calgary and then just fly here, it’s like a one-hour flight, that’s like the same as taking a bus,” he told CTV.

Chen lives with his parents in Calgary and only pays a small amount for utilities, so despite the cost of flights, commuting by plane is ultimately far cheaper than living in Vancouver.

Plus, imagine how many frequent flier miles he's racking up.

Chen is not the first student to commute to college by commercial airplane. An engineering student who was accepted to a one-year master's program at University of California, Berkeley, flew to school from Los Angeles, where he had an affordable place to live and where he planned to return when his program was finished. Once he crunched the numbers, he realized it would actually save him money to commute by plane to the Bay area and take the train from the airport to campus three times a week rather than live in Berkeley.

In all, that student spent $5592.66 over the 10 months it took him to complete his program, which was less than what he would have paid for just two months living in Berkeley.

We're living in some strange economic times, where people are having to get creative about where and how they live. Some people have discovered that unconventional lifestyles, such as living on a cruise ship, in vacation rentals or at an all-inclusive resort can be less expensive—or just as expensive—as traditional rent or mortgage payments (plus relevant living expenses). And now that more people are able to work remotely—one of the few positives to come out of the pandemic—such alternatives are more doable than ever.

Of course, the "time is money"consideration is real, and the hassle of going to the airport twice a week in the morning and evening like Tim Chen does might not be worth it for some people. But with rent prices nearly 30% higher than they were before the pandemic, more people are in need of creative solutions to cost-of-living conundrums.

Even if that means living at home and hopping a flight to school several hundred miles awaay.

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

A woman working out at the gym wearing headphones.

In 2018, author James Clear released “Atomic Habits,” a book about making significant changes through building small habits. The book's takeaway is that you don’t have to commit to drastic, overnight changes to improve yourself. You can do so by slowly working your way towards a goal.

"All big things come from small beginnings,” Clear writes in the book. “The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time."

TikTokker Ashie Adams has a similar theory she calls the Lazy Girl Fitness hack. She says people can create a regular fitness routine by breaking a trip to the gym down into 2 distinct events instead of one that feels overwhelming.

Keep ReadingShow less

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Creator shares strange animal facts, weirds people out with jacana bird

Sometimes we see things that simply cannot be unseen. TikTok creator Mamadou Ndiaye who goes by the screen name mndiaye_97, has made his career out of educating people about weird animal facts that he finds fascinating. In most of his videos people walk away feeling more knowledgable on what animals to stay away from and which are actually as cuddly as they look.

But sometimes his videos makes the internet collectively gasp as they hear these untold facts. Recently, Ndiaye shared a video about the Jacana bird, who at first glance looks like an average bird with abnormally large feet. Viewers quickly realize the video is taking an hilariously uncomfortable turn when the next fact he drops involves a picture of the bird appearing to have eight sets of legs. Or maybe claws? No matter what it resembles, it's what nightmares are made of.

One viewer called it, "Birdie Kruger," and they're not wrong because the facts about this bird just kept getting more disturbing.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Woman sets up an adorable 'date night' with her elderly dog

More than 1.5 million have watched the dog's unforgettable birthday dinner.

Representative Image from Canva

Spoil your pets every chance you get.

It’s one of the most bittersweet experiences that life has to offer—watching our fur babies grow old. No matter how much time we are blessed with such lovely creatures, it’s never enough time.

But, even during our pet’s golden years, when energy wanes and things tend to slow down, we can still spoil them and give them the greatest life possible. And if you’re in need of some inspo—or just a good reason to have a happy cry—look no further.

Dog mom Vicki had the brilliant idea of giving her elderly, but still so handsome Lab the most adorable ‘date night’ for his 16th birthday. He even got his own tux!

Keep ReadingShow less

Artist's apartment gains protected status after his death

You move into an apartment and can't wait to decorate it however you'd like but unfortunately you're pretty limited on what you can do. Most apartments don't approve anything that can't be easily removed, some don't even allow you to paint. One man in England decided that he was going to make his apartment his own by decorating it with his artwork.

Ron Gittins was an artist that lived in the same apartment for over 30 years before his death. During his time in the apartment, the artist had created art all over the walls. Not just elaborate paintings but huge sculptures affixed to the walls that took up the wall's entirety. His family visited the home after Gittins passed away, they were shocked to find such massive elaborate art pieces throughout the home.

The artist died in September 2019 according to CNN, but if you stepped into the home now, you'd see everything still in its place.

Keep ReadingShow less