Justin Josey shares his experience as a commuting student. Josey explains the advantages as well as the disadvantages of living at home.
When I first started college two years ago, I had not planned on becoming a commuter. I was looking forward to living the standard life of a college student. I could not wait to move out, live on my own in a small dorm room with another person, and eating at the Marshbank. That all changed, when I discovered I would be flipping the bill for my entire college career, so in order to save a brand new car in room and board fees I decided to keep living from home.
Those first couple of weeks were hard for me, as I felt isolated from the events going on around campus. I felt like I was missing out on what would make the college experience. It did not make it any easier seeing all my friends post pictures of things like, “OMG, so much fun, #lovemyroomate” or any picture with happy smiling faces with some upbeat caption. There was so much of the happiness and loving living on campus it made me sick, I hated feeling as if I was missing almost everything that seemed to be going on.
Fast-forward two years, and I am a happy commuter. It takes time, but becoming involved on campus was what made me feel like I belonged to this university. Even though I do have an hour commute both ways daily, I have learned to enjoy the trek. It took some practice, but now I have my schedule set up, so I spend the most amount of time on campus, to minimize wait time between classes and school events.
However, commuting does have a downside, as I do not have a place to go during the day. There are times when my friends are in class, homework has been finished, and I just do not feel like turning on Netflix or YouTube. For me I either will get in to a little trouble or start crashing in the library to take a nap, as there is no place for commuters to go if they want to relax between classes on campus.
Then there is the threat of snow in the winter. Spring semester so far has been the worst for snow days. Those days, I am glued to my phone checking either emails or weather reports making sure I have enough time to beat the storms. After all, I am from around here, so my driving skills in the snow are so advanced, that I might as well be the driver of the burning car in last year’s snow.
Each year I have averaged about 15,000 miles on my car. I can probably navigate my commute down 401 blindfolded. I have saved so far an easy $16,000 in cost, and I am still getting the college experience -without having to deal with the spotty wifi and stomach the food daily at marshbanks.