The commuter side of things
Natalie Barletta – Special to the Southern News
I am a part of the almost 70 percent of the Southern Connecticut State University students that commute. As a commuter, my experiences at Southern differ than if I was a resident. However, like most things, the glass of being a commuter has a ratio of being half empty and half full.
Being a commuter has its benefits. You have more privacy at home than if you lived on campus. You have your own room, you don’t have to share a bathroom with strangers, and you don’t have to worry about wearing sandals in the shower. You also have a wider range options for food. Many people who I know that live on campus tend to complain about campus food getting old pretty quickly. As a commuter, I tend to have the luxury of going home at night to a delicious home cooked meal, and I can get any type of food from my refrigerator. If I was a resident, then I would have to rely on the dining hall and the student center to get food or snacks.
However, being a commuter student can have it’s downfalls. For starters, I can’t just roll out of bed and get to class. I actually have to get to campus to get to class. And that can be stressful. It ranges from traffic, finding a parking spot here on campus, and of course if your alarm goes off late then you can be late for class. In addition to that, as a commuter, studying and getting school work done can be extremely hard with parents and siblings being loud. It can make it hard to concentrate to get that really long paper done. Another downfall is that it’s a lot harder to make friends here than if I was a resident. As a commuter, I find it that you really have to put yourself out there to make friends. You have to talk to people in your classes, and join the clubs that we have on campus to make friends, and to feel like you are a part of the Southern community.
The greatest downfall is perhaps that as a commuter, you miss out on the “college experience” that is so culturally important. We basically go to class, and then go home. It’s more like high school, with harder work. What is the college experience? I think it’s being independent, moving out of your parents’ house, and making it on your own. As a commuter, we don’t get that experience.
There are many reasons why we are a commuter. One is for financial reasons. Living on campus can be expensive for the average person, so many would opt to commuting because of the simple fact is that it’s cheaper. Another is perhaps Southern isn’t too far from where we originally come from, so it makes more sense to commute to school than to live at school. Also, perhaps we commute to avoid loans as much as possible. That way, we can avoid debt when we enter the workforce.
Being a commuter has its ups and downs. I have commuted pretty most of my time at Southern, and probably will for the rest of my time here. However college, like life, is what you make out of it really. If you make it awesome, then it will be.