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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ODU chapter.

Three out of four years of my college career were spent commuting to campus. My experience is not individual, as I know many of my peers were doing the same thing for financial or personal reasons. One of my friends and I had a running joke that it would be “next year” that we move out, but next year simply didn’t come. I had always wanted to have the full “college experience” that my friends attending other schools further away were having, but the timing was never right; until it was. 

My commuting experience wasn’t awful, just not ideal. All of my grades were fine, but I wasn’t as involved on campus as I wanted to be and definitely didn’t have the friends that I was promised I would make in college. I knew that I could be making more out of my four years, but living at home during a global pandemic, I knew that a lot of my fellow college students were feeling the same way. However, as pandemic regulations lifted and life began to become somewhat normal again, I knew that I wanted more out of my senior year than I had gotten in years prior. I didn’t have any silly girls night out stories, I worked 30 hours a week most weeks, and my future bridesmaids list was looking painfully short. 

I had been waiting for something to simply fall into my lap, and needless to say, I was shocked when it did. An acquaintance (who is now one of my roommates and best friends) had her housing arrangements for the next year fall through and needed a roommate. We continuously reached out to other people before finding a third and fourth roommate. Scouring the internet for somewhere to live only took a few weeks, and before I knew it, the lease was signed–it was really happening for me. 

Needless to say, I was nervous. I had lived with my parents for 20 years, and now I was finally flying out of the nest and moving in with people I hadn’t known for six months. I always had my own space, and now I was going to be sharing it with three others. As the day approached, my nervousness just turned into excitement. Packing and moving was certainly a drag, but “next year” was actually this year, and this was finally happening for me. 

It was certainly one of the best decisions I ever stumbled into. I joined a sorority (because senior year, full send), was able to be more connected on campus than I had been in the past, kept my grades up, and made more new friends than I can even count. Those roommates that I didn’t know that well are now all at the top of my bridesmaids list and I can’t imagine how I would have survived my senior year without them. I am so grateful for deciding to go out on a limb and say screw it. While I am thankful for my time as a commuter and know that I learned a lot from staying home, this year is certainly a year I will never forget.

Hello! My name is Hali Sanders and I am the Editor-In-Chief of ODU HerCampus! Outside of HC, I am in our school's honors college, I work in orientation, and I am a proud cat mom. I am majoring in Communications with a minor in English!