Anyone can argue that there are unlimited benefits that come with commuting to college; home-cooked meals, zero roommate conflicts, and, of course, saving thousands of dollars. But socially, commuting comes with a high price. Whether you are a freshman in college trying to make friends, or a junior transitioning back to her childhood bedroom (ehem, me), commuting takes effort. A commuter needs to go above and beyond to make sure they’re staying connected to their campus. Here are a few practical tips from yours truly, a commuter who takes FOMO to another level.
1. Get involved. As stereotypical as this sounds, it really is the truth. Getting involved helped me meet some of my closest friends at SJU, and even as a junior, I’m constantly finding new ways to get involved and meet people similar to myself. Going to parties in packs of 20 people the first few weeks of college will only get you so far, I promise. Expand your horizons and don’t be afraid to try out a few things until something feels like a fit.
2. Invite yourself places. No, seriously. Invite yourself everywhere. As a commuter, you will realize that not everyone is concerned about making sure you have a place to sleep. Instead of getting sappy and thinking the world is out to get you, ask others if you can join them or crash for the night. You’ll be surprised with how generous people can be. You will become fluent in the art of making people think they invited you, when you actually invited yourself!
3. Go with the flow. Again, no time to be a diva here. You will quickly accept that there may be a few nights when you honestly don’t know if you will have a place to sleep except the floor. Embrace it. Look at this as a positive experience – as a commuter, you have the freedom to basically do whatever you want. Commuting has actually allowed for me to become a little more independent these past few months.
4. Find a few good friends, and hang onto them. This last tip is for freshman in particular. You will find that many people will want to be your best friend when your on top, or when it is most convenient for them. The people who are there for you when it’s not necessarily easiest thing for them are the people you want to hold onto. As a commuter, these friends will be your everything.