During my first year in college, I spent quite a bit of time on campus. A lot of people thought I lived on campus, but I was actually a commuter. With the amount of time I spent on campus, a lot of people might think that I would consider becoming a resident in the fall, but I loved commuting so much that I plan to do so for the rest of my college career.
My commute is quite short everyday- it’s less than a 20 minute drive to school (it’s also quite easy, and there are plenty of other routes in case of traffic or some other abnormal situation). I chose to commute at first because room and board was quite expensive, especially if I didn’t need to pay for it. Plus, I had heard so many roommate horror stories that I figured it would be so much simpler and easier to not put myself in the position where I could be living with someone I absolutely hated, or someone I liked but had an opposite sleep and living schedule than me. I thought that if I found people I absolutely loved and wanted to room with, I could move on campus for my second year.
I just finished my first year, and as strange as it was, commuting helped to make it so great for me. I loved being able to choose how much time I could spend on campus everyday. My second semester schedule made it so I spent more time on campus either with friends or in the honors lounge of the library, but I found myself wanting to do most of my work at home since I felt more motivated to get it done faster. My routine became working at home, and having fun and getting the most of my college experience on campus.
It was also a major perk for me to not spend 24/7 at college. I go to a pretty small school, and many of my friends quickly got tired of school. Because I was seeing more than simply the same parts of campus everyday, I looked forward to going over. Plus, when the back-to-campus cold was going around in the fall, I was fortunate enough not to catch it (most commuters didn’t). I was also less involved with weird situations than many of my resident friends, though I did get my fair share.
Although it was great for me, commuting wasn’t perfect by any means. I often felt out of the communication loop since it was harder to hear about things when you’re not on campus all the time, and my meal plan was a bit more annoying (and balance harder to keep track of) than the resident plans. I don’t have my own car, but I know many of my friends who drive themselves had trouble finding parking on campus at busier times. Thankfully, these problems were easy to work around, and I was able to talk with administrators at my school to help find some solutions to make things a bit easier.
Commuting isn’t for everyone, but if it’s a potential option for you, it’s something to seriously consider. Many people think commuters just show up for classes and go home. In reality, you design your own college experience as a commuter, and you can be as involved as you want to be without totally leaving your home life behind. I’m proud to commute to school, and can’t wait for my last two years of school!
See ya real soon,