After my first year of living in the dorms, I came to the conclusion that I would be better off commuting to school. I moved home and felt instant relief. I was able to sleep in my own bed at night, be surrounded by my family and friends on a regular basis, and my tuition was cut in half. Another thing that I considered a benefit to being a commuter was that I got to keep my job at home. Not only was I able to keep my job, but I could work during the week too, relieving some of my weekends from work and school. Although commuting has been great to me over the last three years, there have been times where I wish I would have never chosen to do so. More times than not, being a commuter has bitten me in the behind.
When you’re a commuter, there are a lot of things you have to deal with that other students don’t. For example, if my friends get tired between classes, they can go back to their dorm room or apartment and take a nap. However, since I live 40 miles away from campus, I can’t do that. I actually keep a pillow and a blanket in the trunk of my car for days when I’m really desperate for some sleep.
Sometimes I hear students complain that they walked all the way to their building just to find out that their class was cancelled. Yeah, that really stinks, but imagine driving an hour, finding a parking spot, walking to your building, and then finding out that your class was cancelled; that’s ten times worse. I can’t count on my hands the amount of times I have driven all the way to school just for this to happen. It honestly makes me ill to think about how much gas I have wasted by driving to school for absolutely no reason. This problem only becomes more heart wrenching during the spring semester when there is snow and ice on the ground.
Another downfall of being a commuter is that it is almost impossible to be a part of any kind of club or event. It took me until senior year to become affiliated with any kind of group on campus. When you commute your days are long and stressful enough, staying on campus any later than your last class to do anything else is actually excruciating. Again, while others can go kill time at their dorm or apartment, you physically cannot spend one more minute in the library without gauging your eyes out. When my classes are over, I just want to go home and relax.
Even though there are downfalls to being a commuter, I still think I made the right decision for me way back in freshman year. I enjoy the atmosphere of being at college, and my friends very kindly let me live through them whenever I want to. However, there’s honestly no place like home. That is where I’d very much rather be.