When a single Los Angeles resident was recognized into a master’s plan in engineering at UC Berkeley, he faced an all-way too-California challenge — Bay Space housing price ranges.
“Some destinations were being like $1,500 to $2,000” a month for a one bedroom, Monthly bill Zhou said.
He experienced used to other educational institutions, including some on the East Coastline, but had his heart set on Berkeley — his aspiration college — and was fully commited to making it operate.
Immediately after undertaking some “rough estimates,” the 26-year-old engineered himself a resolution: For larger instruction, he’d use sky-superior transportation.
He hatched a system to fly commercial between Los Angeles Intercontinental Airport and the Bay Place virtually each individual day he experienced course — typically Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The approach was not generally uncomplicated, but it was profitable. He completed the a person-yr program in May.
And if you question him, it was nicely well worth the hard work.
“They have the very best civil engineering system in the total nation,” he stated in an job interview with The Situations.
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Zhou in-depth the prepare in a Reddit post titled, “I survived residing in LA and commuting to Cal by airplane more than the past tutorial yr to preserve on hire, AMA” — or “Talk to Me Everything.”
In the write-up, Zhou stated that he booked all of his travel well in advance — generating liberal use of recurrent flier plans with airlines this kind of as Southwest and Alaska.
He booked a lot of of his tickets in spring 2022, forward of his initially semester that fall.
A “common” day went some thing like this: For a course that started at 10 a.m., he would wake up all around 3:40 a.m., acquire an Alaska flight from LAX to San Francisco Global Airport at 6 a.m., have breakfast in the airport lounge, then acquire Bay Space Rapid Transit to campus.
Soon after class, he would hold out with good friends or go to business office hours, then grab some meal just before catching a flight back to LAX, ordinarily at 9:05 p.m. or 10:30 p.m.
“Generally, the doorway-to-doorway commute time in between my residence in LA and my classroom in Berkeley is 4-5hrs Every single WAY,” he wrote on Reddit. “So yeah, I used a ton of time on my commute.”
But driving could choose even more time, depending on California’s notorious targeted traffic.
In all, Zhou states he invested just below $5,600 on vacation costs, together with general public transportation to and from the airports and in-flight Wi-Fi. His cumulative commute time totaled practically 76,000 minutes — about 53 days of travel.
On the actual estate lookup internet site Zillow, the least expensive mentioned selling price for an apartment in Berkeley as of Thursday was around $1,000. Even at that cost, Zhou would have spent in the neighborhood of $9,000 just in lease above the program of his method.
And it all went instead smoothly, he reported.
Thanks to Berkeley’s tutorial calendar, he averted most peak summer months pricing and skipped the 2022 Southwest holiday vacation debacle that still left hundreds of travelers stranded for hours.
But the program, specifically for the 1st few months, took its toll.
“Occasionally I felt exhausted,” he said. “Normally on the weekends, I would just capture up on snooze.”
But Zhou said he by no means regarded using a crack after the initial semester ended.
“I had my mind established on finishing in a single calendar year,” he reported.
And he experienced a very good help system of friends and relatives, even if they assumed Zhou was “mad.”
“They have been supportive and served me to get by way of this,” he mentioned. “And they also explained to me to not to stress myself also much.”
While several on Reddit stated they were being impressed with the prepare, other people slammed it as irresponsible taking into consideration the greenhouse fuel emissions associated with air journey.
But, Zhou mentioned, “the planes are traveling with or with out me.”
This tale originally appeared in Los Angeles Instances.