Commuting to College is Underappreciated

Whenever I tell someone that I commute to college from my home, people are shocked, and I am not sure why. Is it really that odd and unnatural to live at home and commute to school? 

I was lucky enough to be given an amazing opportunity at my local university. I grew up 10 minutes away from Kutztown University, and because of this, I never wanted to go to school there. But, the opportunity was way too good to pass up. So, I enrolled at Kutztown. I started my freshman year living on campus, like a “traditional” college student. I only lasted half of the first semester before I moved out and started commuting. It took a while, but I realized that life was not for me.

I was scared to commute to school. I thought I would no longer be a "normal college" student and be less involved in the campus. Commuting is not something that is talked about a lot and offered as an option. It is completely underrated. There are so many positives and benefits if you commute to school, and it should be an option explored in high school counseling as an excellent way to attend a local college. 

When you commute to school, you are able to separate school life and personal life. I know for myself, it was a little overwhelming always being at school. I felt like the stress of it never left. Now, as a commuter, when I am on campus, I am in the school mindset, and when I am at home, I take a break and focus on other parts of my life. I am doing much better as a student because of this. It is all about moderation. 

Commuting to school is also more cost effective than living on campus. For most, the expenses, at least with what is paid to the school, is cut in half. Saving that money opens up so many possibilities for the future. What you would be paying towards room and board could be put towards a car, a vacation, or savings for something bigger and better in your future. 

With commuting, you get the best of both worlds. As a commuter, you are able to participate in every usual college activity, but, you can also enjoy family time, which is one of the most important aspects of my life. Commuting to school allows you to experience everything you want to do at the same time. Plus, the drive to and from school will give you some much needed quality time with yourself. 

In the end, there is no “traditional” college student. The main goal is learning as much as possible and preparing for a career in something you love. It does not matter where you live as you go to school, how long it takes you, or where you go. If we accept and support one another unconditionally, and are given all the options available, we will all be successful. But, if commuting to college is an option for you, I encourage you to try it out. It may be one of the best experiences in your life.