The college commuting experience can stir a lot of different emotions in people. Some may find it a fantastic way to save on dorming and meal plan costs, but the majority will most likely refer to it as four years of solitude and doom. Commuters have all different reasons for commuting. Some are personal while others might be self explanatory. No dorm can beat home cooked meals and free laundry services. Throughout their college years, commuters will probably face some comments from people that make them question a choice that they happily made for themselves:
“You’re missing out on the college experience” College is what a student makes of it, and if they choose to commute, more power to them! Not everyone is fit for the dorming life, and many students may find more independance living off campus. Commuters generally do have to work a bit harder to make friends and partake in college festivities, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want the fun. Some commuters may find it easier to study once they are off campus. Dorming is an experience, but may be distracting to very social students who have a strong desire to achieve a high GPA. Chances are, if a student has spent most of their college life commuting, there has to be some perks. Instead of making a commuter friend feel left out, ask them what they like about their experience and suggest some social activities to get involved in.
“You’re not learning how to be independent” Being a commuter allows you to set the level of independence that you are ready for. College is a stepping stone into adulthood. Some students may need a bigger stone to get themselves adjusted post high school. For most students, having a commute, a car to care for, and no roommate to wake them up if they overslept, requires a certain level of maturity. Commuter students also have to take into consideration weather and traffic conditions to ensure they will make it on time to class. If the student is still living with family, they may be required to participate more in doing household chores and keeping things organized. Post graduation, adjusting from dorm life to living back home or into an apartment will pose new challenges. For commuter students, they are already a step ahead.
“You’re going to regret not dorming” A good dorming experience comes from the type of people and opportunities the student surrounds themselves with. This goes for commuters also. Maybe the commuter has a big family or a lot of close friends attending local colleges. Some commuters may also find their commute to be relaxing and beautiful as they watch the seasons change. Regardless, as long as the student is making fond memories, there will be little to regret later on.
So commuters, there is no reason to feel down and out about your college experience.
You can easily defy the boring commuter stigma by getting an internship/part-time job, joining clubs, having a sleepover with dorming friends, or by participating in college night life off campus.