Commuter to Resident: My Story

Hi. My name is Mackenzie. I am a sophomore at the University of Scranton. I first began my college journey as a commuter, roughly one year ago. Subconsciously, I knew that life as a commuter would be different from day one. But, I had high hopes that my housing status would not impact my college experience.

A few weeks into my first semester, I noticed that I had a difficult time meeting people. Despite my housing status, I thought making friends would be one of the easier aspects of college. However, it did not take me long to notice the invisible barrier between commuters and campus residents. I felt excluded and even like an outcast at times. My drive to school destroyed my desire to attend 9 P.M. meetings and late night campus events, which led to a less than booming social life. Everyday I would reassure myself that the initial transition struggle from high school

student to college student would gradually get easier. I told myself to stop overthinking; to think less and live more.

Nearing the end of my first semester, I had a reputation for tardiness. Professors do not care if there no parking in the commuter lot- ​late is late.​ It was time to be an adult, and stories about Scranton traffic or parking catastrophes, were merely excuses. I was overwhelmed. I was more than overwhelmed. The stress of a weekly routine that not only accommodated my class schedules, but traffic patterns and unexpected circumstances such as closed roads and weather conditions, caused my grades to plummet.

I lacked motivation and lost interest in school. I felt like everyone was moving forward, and I was stuck in the same place, stuck in the same childhood bedroom. I envied students who embraced early adulthood and mild doses of independence.

I considered taking a semester off or transferring schools. I pondered signing an apartment lease with friends who attend neighboring schools. And I contemplated switching my housing status.

After negotiating with my parents for months, they agreed to me living on campus. I was grateful for the opportunity and could not wait to see what the future had in store.

Fast forward:​ It is now my third week living in a sophomore dormitory and I couldn’t be happier. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am exactly where I need to be.

Everyday, I met new people and jump at new opportunities. I’ve found friends. I’ve found my home. And most importantly, I’ve found happiness.

XOXO,

A new campus resident

P.S. Thanks mom and dad