Life is not always like those stereotypical American movies where every college freshman is moving away from their parent’s home into a dorm. Some students commute to their universities or colleges for a variety of reasons. Some commute to stay with their families, while others do it to save money.
I’ve been commuting for my entire undergraduate years, so I believe that my experiences as a commuter student differ from students who have lived near campus for a majority of their schooling.
The Tiresome, Long, Commute
Whether it’s commuting to work or school, the journey is a long, tiresome one filled with incessant yawns, loud music, and reusable coffee cups. Typically, you’re exhausted by the time you get back home (especially if you catch a late bus).
However, commuter students get used to waking up extra early (eventually). It’s difficult, but I try to maintain a regular sleep schedule during the week (even on the weekends).
The bus ride can get lengthy, but I occupy myself by listening to music on my phone, eating a snack, finishing up assignments, studying for an upcoming test, taking a power nap, or taking selfies with the stranger who falls asleep next to me (That’s a terrible joke, but please don’t do that. Be considerate of other people, even if there mouths are agape and they’re snoring as loud as your music volume).
A Disconnected Student
My first year wasn’t as memorable compared to other students who lived on campus; in fact, it was absolutely dreadful in fact.
I was still adjusting to new routine, I had to wake up earlier than I ever did in high school, and all my old friends moved out of the city. It was difficult for me to meet new people because of my shy, introverted personality.
As I’m in my last year, that feeling is completely irrelevant to me now.
After attending several events at my school and meeting different faces at my school over the years, I feel more connected to my school’s community. Getting more involved in your school and pushing yourself to smile at people can help you develop, long, lasting friendships. I met one of my best friends in university during my first year, and it all started when I asked her what time it was.
Quality Family Time
Unlike kids who live on campus, I get free room & board by living with my parents.
I get pristine, high-speed Internet, a chance to gorge on Netflix, hot food, and the thermostat is always adjusted accordingly. As a result, commuting to school and staying at home while studying saves a lot of money for me (and my parents).
I also get to spend more time with my family, compared to students who live near school (assuming they are away from their families). This is a fortunate privilege, especially when one feels like taking a break from the stressful school environment, such as exam time.
However, it is the inevitable truth that most parents will never stop seeing their children as babies, and will treat them so. My parents still treat me like I’m 10. If you decide to live with your parents during your studies, they may treat you the same way (I know it’s not saying a lot, but if you’re anything like me, that may drive you nuts).
The Overall Experience
As stated above, commuting to school has its advantages.
However, my university experience as a result of being a commuter student is ‘lacking’. However, that doesn’t mean my time in university was absolutely horrific.
I appreciate the university experience I have undergone, and this experience was a result of me, and not necessarily the product of my situation (of commuting to school). I’m connected to my school to an extent that I’ve grown fond of the campus community. I’ve met interesting characters throughout my time here, and I’ve established great friendships with fellow colleagues.
Being a commuter student is not much of an experience, but I believe that one can truly learn to understand the value of punctuality and organization of one’s own time. If I had to do it again, commuting to school wouldn’t be so tiring for me, compared to others who have never had experience with traveling to and fro school.
If you are/were a student commuting to school, how would you define your experiences? Tell us in the comments section below!