Why I Love Being a Commuter

Growing up on Long Island, I always heard that Stony Brook was a huge commuter school and every student commuted. Now that I’m a student here, I can see that there are a lot of commuters… but also just as many people who dorm. That kind of threw me when I began attending Stony Brook. Not dorming here and having the “typical” college experience made me sad and feeling like I was missing out. But after spending a semester commuting, I’ve definitely grown to love it. It truly is a completely different collegiate experience, but one that’s just as fulfilling… here’s why.

The Commuter Student Association

I LOVE the Commuter Student Association. They make sure the transition for each commuter student goes smoothly, and they set up events throughout the semester to get commuters involved. It can be really tough to feel like a part of the campus when it seems we’re just going to class and back home, and that’s why the CSA rocks. All of their events are during Campus Lifetime, so it’s easy to pencil them into our schedules. What could be better than hanging out and relaxing during your free time? (PS- they also have free food at their events!)

No “Freshman Fifteen”

To be honest, I don’t know if this a thing. But I do know that instead of being stuck with the same campus food, I have the luxury of my mom’s food every day. It is way more delicious than anything I have ever eaten on campus, and probably way healthier. Going off that, it’s a lot easier to have a healthy diet when you’re not restricted to the same places to get food. Commuters can just drive to Whole Foods or a local farmer’s market and get fresh fruit. Yum!

More Productive Downtime

Commuters oftentimes have big blocks of time in between classes. When you can’t just go to your dorm and take a nap, we learn pretty quickly how to effectively utilize these breaks. You can find commuters at the library (my home away from home) getting homework done or studying for our exams. And when we get home we don’t have any school work to do, which means we can…


We Have Different Experiences

Dorming on campus kind of limits the options students have to spend their weekends. As commuters, we can choose to do whatever we want during our off times. Go to the city, visit family in other states, go all over the island... the options are pretty endless. When you can just jump in a car and pick up your friends, spontaneous adventures are a given.

Pay Less Money

This is a big one and the main reason most students choose to commute. At the end of the four years, we don’t have huge bills for room and board. And while some people view it as a worthwhile expense and others live too far away from Stony Brook to make the commute, I’m glad I don’t have that bill. I only live 20 minutes away from campus and paying for my gas is more than enough at the moment.

At the end of the day, commuting to Stony Brook is a very different experience. While sometimes I do admit to wondering what life dorming would be like, I don’t regret it for a second! I’m glad to live the best of both worlds.

Gif courtesy of Giphy