"I Commute by Plane for My Internship," Says South Carolina Student Flying to Newark Weekly

The student gets up at 3am to save on rent by commuting to her internship in another state.

As a young, broke college kid, you'll do anything to save an extra buck—even if that means commuting to your out-of-state internship by plane to save on living expenses.

Sophia Celentano is a college student living in South Carolina, who is spending her summer interning at a marketing agency in… wait for it… New Jersey. The 21-year-old became a viral sensation on TikTok after she posted videos documenting her "untraditional" work commute, which begins at 3 a.m.

Celentano says the early wakeup call is better than the alternative: shelling out an extra $2,000 on New Jersey-New York City rent and living expenses. "A lot of people also think that I'm probably driving myself crazy mentally and physically getting up that early and taking two planes a day, but it honestly is not that difficult for me," she said in a TikTok.

A recent report crowned New Jersey the seventh most expensive state to live in. As a result, prospective tenants are flocking away from the Garden State as steep rent prices become too much of a financial burden. Case in point: Sophia Celentano.

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The long-distance commuter revealed on TikTok that she's budgeting around $2,250 for transportation and food expenses for the 10-week internship. Celentano said that a round trip flight from Richmond to Newark costs her about $100, plus she pays an additional $100 in Uber fees per week. She also has $25 allotted for weekly food and drink purchases.

Celentano said she was financially motivated to live at home over the summer after she realized that living closer to work would run her a monthly bill of roughly $4,250. "I'm extremely grateful that when I stay at home with my parents I don't have to pay rent, and I don't have to pay money for food because they go grocery shopping," she explains.

She continued: "The reason that it's cheaper for me to be here [Richmond] and to pay for flights is because I'm not spending all that extra money on not just rent, but living expenses in general in one of the most expensive parts of the country."

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The marketing intern also clarified that her job is on a hybrid schedule, meaning she only has to go into the office once a week. On Wednesdays she flies to Newark, which is 30 minutes away from her office located in Parsippany.

"I understand this is a really untraditional thing to do, but it works for me," Celentano said. Plus, she has a zest for travel.

"I like traveling a lot—I like the adventure," she told fans.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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