If you are a commuter at Montclair State University, you may have felt a slight doubt as to whether or not you are experiencing the full college life. As a transfer student who commutes, I felt a bit out of my element. I went to a very small, private school for my freshman year of college. I transferred to Montclair because I wanted the ability to meet new people each and every day. At first it was difficult making friends, but mostly only due to the reasons of being a sophomore and the fact that many people had a set friend group already. So I decided to figure out my options in order to get involved on campus.
Spend Some Quality Time on Campus
As a commuter, my days would consist of waking up, trying to make time to eat breakfast, going to classes, and then heading straight home after my last class. Now I try to find a friend to hang with or go to the library to make the most out of my day by being productive.
If there is a campus event after your last class, make an effort to stay on campus to partake in the event. You might meet new people and develop lifelong friends, you just never know until you make the best out of your experiences. Join a club sport or intramural sport in order to have a purpose to stay on campus after classes. You could create study groups for any particular class, which may develop into friendships with common interests and dislikes. You could also apply for a job on campus, which would demand your ability to stay on campus. You could chill in the commuter lounge, which will help you meet new people that also commute back and forth to school. You might become friends with a new person that could be a potential carpool buddy.
Discover a Community to Become a Part of
Truthfully, I was a complete loner during my first semester at a new college. Even though I was able to easily make conversation with the people in my class, those conversations would usually only stay within the walls of the classroom. Since I am sophomore, I felt like everyone already had their set friend group. So I did not see the point in making an effort to try to make plans to hang out with people in my classes.
Not having anyone to hang out with or to have interesting conversations with led me to go out for recruitment. I decided that joining Greek Life would be the best option for me to make forever friendships, gain networks, and work for a common cause that I care about. Going out for the National Panhellenic Conference recruitment and joining a sorority has brought me amazing and possibly lifelong friendships, thus far.
If you believe joining Greek Life is not for you, then I would suggest to join a club, a sports team, or any organization that may provide you with a community.
Find a Way to Have Fun
Get into the school spirit, wear your Montclair apparel, and cheer on our sport teams. Whether it be an away game or a home game, all games are enjoyable when you are with those familiar to you. If you are not into sports, then you can support your fellow college mates who perform in the music and theater department. If you are not into artsy events, then you can attend the many concerts, comedy shows, and guest speakers Montclair provides courtesy of the Student Government Association, S.L.A.M (Student Life at Montclair, CSI (Center for Student Involvement, Commuter Student Programs and Services, and many more organizations.
Tailor Your Class Schedule
If you do not mind having classes all day, then you should make a class schedule with breaks in between some classes. You could use the breaks in your schedule to be productive, study, get something to eat, or even see what organizations are tabling in the Student Center.
If parking is a concern, I would suggest to make it possible to not have to take classes every single day because it becomes a burden to have to drive back to campus every day of the week and have to find parking.