Commuting to college isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. There are some good days and there are some bad. Currently, I’m commuting to school, which is 41 minutes away from my home. I always take a bus and two trains to get to school and back. Since Temple is in the city, most commuting students park their cars in the train stations, parking lot, then take a train to come to campus. It’s a bit harder to commute if you’re going to a campus in the city. There are many things we as commuters go through every day. I could list a ton of them, but for now, I’ll list nine things every commuter student goes through in college that only we truly understand:
1. It’s really hard to meet new people and gain friends.
When people start college, they make new friends everywhere they go. Making friends is easier for some and harder some. It’s easier to make friends when you’re living in a dorm room. The first friend’s people make, when living in a dorm room is their roommates. Then, they make friends in their classes and it’s easier for them because they can see their classmates every day outside of class. Unlike commuter students, they don’t get to see their friends in college all the time because, after a long hard day in college, they want to go home and sometimes they have to go home so they can do their homework or work. Also, sometimes trying to introduce yourself to a person is hard enough because you don’t want to be weird. It a bit easier for dorm room students because they have to talk to their roommates and they will eventually talk to the people living in the same hall as them. Unlike, commuters, who sometimes can’t stay and hang out because they have to go home.
2. Participating in extracurricular activities is a struggle sometimes.
For commuters sometimes participating in extracurricular activities is a struggle because usually, they are tired from the classes they had all day. They sometimes want to go home, either to get their homework done or relax. Some clubs starts late and some student doesn’t have cars to take them home. They have to work with the train and bus schedule, so they can’t stay too late either or they can’t find a train/bus to take them home. Commuters have to manage their time, if they want to do clubs because they have to make sure, there is a way for them to come back home. They can use an Uber or a Lyft, but not all them time. Commuters, managing your time for clubs is one of the most important things you can do, if you want to participate in them.
3. It’s hard to find parking, especially in the city.
Every commuter going to a city college understand that finding a parking spot is hard. Usually, in the city people work and go to school there, so it’s hard to find a parking spot that is available. Also, there isn’t enough room for parking either. Sometimes people take other people parking spot and it gets irritating. Commuters have to get up early if they want to find a parking spot in the city. They have to make sure, they can park there legally or check the parking hours, so their car doesn’t get towed. In some colleges, students parking is expensive, so some students don’t want to spend too much money, just to bring a car to school when they can just take a bus, train, Uber, or another cheaper transportation to get to school. Instead, of wasting about $400 or more on parking.
4. The student center or the student lounge becomes your second home.
The student center or lounge becomes commuters second home because that the place where they can eat, sleep, do their homework, hangout, etc. Student centers/lounges are for every student. But, let’s be honest, commuting students goes there more than students living in their dorm room. Sometimes commuting students need a place to go, if their friends who live in their dorm are busy or when they have a break between their classes. The student center has a lot of couches and chairs to sit on and it’s a perfect hangout/doing homework place for students. If commuting students don’t want to go home, then you’ll most likely find them in the student center, either chilling, hanging out, or be doing work. Also, it’s the perfect place to go, during the harsh cold winter.
5. You take naps in any quiet area you can find.
Commuting students take in-between class break naps in different locations because they don’t have a dorm room on campus and they can’t go home anytime soon due to having classes. This usually happens because they are tired from their day, need to get a little shut-eye before going to class, or they went to bed late. No matter what the reason is these students will find a place to nap for more 50 than minutes. They usually set an alarm, so they know when to get up. The students will take a nap in the student center, sometimes empty classroom, the library’s couches and chairs, their car, etc. Sometimes in-between is necessary because sleep is important and it will help students through the day making them less tired/giving them the energy they need before class starts.
6. Transportation sometimes sucks.
Another struggle while commuting is when other transportation stops working or is running late. Sometimes buses and trains are running late and students will come late to their class, all out of breath because they ran to get to class on time. Sometimes Septa workers will go on strike, but that rarely happens. But, if it does, then all commuting students are in trouble because they can’t get to school without these modes of transportation.
They have to figure out a way to get to college and go back home. They have to plan ahead of time, so it doesn’t cause a problem the next day. There’s too many traffic on strike days because everyone is taking their car. Students won’t know how long the strike is going to take. Also, having car trouble before going to school isn’t great either, students will end up either missing class or being late. Transportation is a vital key to a commuter student’s life without it; they are in trouble.
7. You get really tired when you get home and don’t want to do work.
After a long day of school and commuting back and forth, sometimes commuter students are tired and worn out from their day in school. Due to that, they don’t feel like doing work or anything else. But, they do it because they want to get their degree and a good job in the future.
8. You have to carry around your things all day.
Luckily for dorm room students, they can take their things and books back to their dorm rooms without carrying it all day. If they forget their books, they can always go back for it or take their books in and out of their dorms, if they need them that day or not. Commuter students have to take and carry everything they need in their book bags. There are no lockers for them to place their books and bookbag. They have to take their things everywhere with them and they can’t forget about their things because if they are in school, they can’t go back for it. Also, if commuter students want to go somewhere. Unless they have a car, they have to take their book bag with them and carry it around, which is not fun sometimes.
9. Best of all, if you commute, you save a lot of money on housing and meal plans.
Even though, there are many struggles when it comes to commuting. One of the best things about commuting is students saving money from staying at home because they don’t have to pay for an expensive door room and meal plans, which makes their tuition a little bit cheaper. Also, they don’t have to pay back a lot of money for their loans, so they are less in debt.