Being a Commuter at Cal Lu

Being a commuter at Cal Lutheran isn’t the easiest thing. There aren’t as many events planned for the commuters as there are for the residents, and the events are almost always segregated. I remember during my freshman year, there was a battle of the halls and it was for the freshman dorms only. I never understood why there couldn’t have been a team or two of commuters so that we could have been involved in the fun as well. They also had all of the events during orientation extremely spaced out, and for the commuters who have no dorm to go back to and that lived far away, it wasn’t fair that they had to hang out by themselves for hours on an unfamiliar campus. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “why didn’t they just try to make friends with the residents so they had somewhere to go during those long breaks?” 

Well, it's hard to make friends with people that were already forming bonds with their roommates! No one wants some rando to come into their group and conversation. 

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Cal Lutheran also doesn’t always make the commuters feel welcome by restricting their access to several areas and forcing them to ask residents to give them access. Which, while I understand that this could be a safety issue, we are also students at the school and should have easy access to all of the places that the residents have, ie. dorm common areas and study rooms. 

Also, I know that there are study rooms in the student union, but the residents use that too. Sometimes there is nowhere for the commuters to go where the area is just theirs, but the residents have that luxury. 

After having spoken to many of my commuter friends, I know that they face the same struggles and the same problems that I have. Beyond commenting on how there shouldn't be segregated events, I heard that people are upset that we do not have easy access to knowledge of the events because they aren’t posted in easy to see areas for the commuters. They are posted in all of the dorms, but without having access to these, we don’t have access to the information. It’s also a huge hassle to check the Hub online because the site is occasionally down. 

I love getting to know all of my resident friends. Having movie nights in the lounges or getting ready for events in the dorms while listening to music and dancing around is always super fun. But without Her Campus, I probably wouldn’t have known any of these people. I’m grateful for my club, but not all of the commuters have the time to go and join a club or sports team or something like that. 

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Besides the problem of segregation, there isn’t enough parking. I always make sure that I arrive at school early because I know I will probably be driving around forever finding a spot. I once heard the idea around campus that we should get a parking structure for the commuters, and I think that is a wonderful idea! Not only will it make parking more readily available, but it will also make it less stressful for the students that came a little on the late side and are frantically trying to find a spot to make it to their class on time. 

Being a commuter isn’t all bad though. I love getting to live at home and to see my family every day (and my cat who I definitely cannot live without). It’s also nice having a different perspective than those that live on campus. From a commuter standpoint, I value my resident friends so much when they offer me a place to stay between classes or when they tell me about events on campus that I might not know about. And I know they value my knowledge of the area; the cool places to hang out or the restaurants that have the best food. 

Being a commuter is definitely a give and take situation and it takes some getting used to. I am not the most confident person, but I forced myself to go out of my comfort zone to go up to people and to make friends. The outcome has been incredible and I wouldn’t change it. 

So yes, being a commuter means you are going to have to work a little bit harder to make some friends on campus, but being confident and putting yourself out there isn’t going to fail. You might find yourself a home among the people at Cal Lu.