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Three Things I’ve Learned As A College Commuter

Growing up, I always imagined that I would spend my undergraduate years living it up in a college dorm. However, growing up, I was also not aware that student debt was a thing. So, for the past two years, I’ve commuted to school. Since I’ve just started my third year of college, I’ve learned a lot about the commuter life. 

1. You Can Save A LOT Of Money.

My decision to commute to college was largely based off the fact that it would be cheaper than living in a dorm. Additionally, it has helped saved a lot of money on food because I bring lunches from home, instead of paying for food on campus, and then eat dinner when I get home from school! 

2. It Gets A Bit Harder To Get Involved, But It Can Be Done!

One downside to commuting would be that I have had less time to get involved in clubs and organizations on campus. Since I spend about two hours day commuting to school and back home, I have to stick to a tight schedule. My freshman year, I was not involved at all. As I got better with time management, I became better at making time for organizations on campus. Although I have found it harder to get involved as a commuter, with good time management, it’s totally possible!

3. Commuting Makes You More Responsible.

Commuting means that it’s important that I have all the supplies I need for class. Since I live an hour away, no one can just drop my notes or books off for me. Likewise, I can’t just run back to my dorm to get anything I’ve forgotten. That’s why the night before, I make sure to pack my backpack, pick out my outfit and have my bus and train ticket ready for the next day. 

There are times I wish I lived on campus but I feel that commuting to school has prepared me a lot for my post college life. However, since many students at the University of Illinois at Chicago are commuters, it’s not that hard to meet other students on the train.

While commuting can be hard sometimes (especially when you have early morning classes), I’ve grown to enjoy my daily train rides to and from the city!

Aggie is an English major with a concentration in professional writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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