As someone who has been commuting for four years, these are some of my tips to make the most of college as a commuter:
As cliché as it may sound, get involved! Without clubs or other on-campus activities, college life for commuters can easily fall into a banal routine consisting of driving to school, going to classes, driving back home, and doing homework. Instead, embellish this routine by joining clubs that interest you. For me, joining club soccer made all the difference. I was able meet so many new, like-minded people while having fun!
Plan Your Schedule
It’s important for all college students to plan their schedule accordingly, but this is especially true for commuters to do so. In fact, in my first semester at Fordham, I took an 8:30am class which really made life way more difficult than it had to be. I would wake up at 6am in order to leave the house by 7am. Try to plan your schedule so that your classes won’t deprive you from getting the sleep you need.
Make On-Campus Friends
Although there shouldn’t be any guidelines on who to be friends with, try to befriend on-campus students! This will give you places to go during the day in between classes and will certainly make your life easier when you’re stuck at school because of unforeseen events (e.g., bad weather or when you just can’t drive back home safely).
Manage Your Time
Like every other college student, commuters should avoid procrastination as much as possible. Write down everything you need to do and set due dates for yourself to stay on track. Remember, commuters don’t have the same opportunity as their on-campus counterparts to study for an exam an hour before it begins. Thus, you need to manage your time wisely or you may end up feeling overwhelmed.
For me, being a commuter is truly the best of both worlds: I get to enjoy the perks of ordinary college students, but at the end of the day, I get to eat, sleep, and do work in the comfort of my own home.