Almost all teenagers find themselves constantly daydreaming of the opportunity to set out on their own journey that has seemingly no responsibilities- college. As a high school student, I continually heard amazing things about college. From getting to live without parents and siblings to becoming the best of friends with your new roommate, everything about college was captivating. Junior year of high school came quicker than expected, and before I knew it, I was applying to the universities that I had always dreamt of attending.
Time passed as I waited for what seemed like years for my acceptance letter to my number one university of choice. When I finally came to the realization that it was getting close to the deadline to register for fall classes, I immediately registered at my local community college in fear of not starting school on time.
I was crushed.
I sulked for weeks thinking about how I would be missing out on a “real college experience." My family and friends comforted me by telling me that I made the smart decision and that I would be saving myself money in the long run. The truth was that no matter how much they tried convincing me to be happy with my decision, I would always feel as though I was missing out.
My time at the two-year community college came and went, and I was finally accepted into my dream school. Temple University has an amazing journalism program, and I was ecstatic to finish my college career at such an establishment.
After endless amounts of paperwork and frustration, I came to the conclusion that the only way for me to attend Temple University was if I commuted. It turns out my family and friends were right all along — I was definitely saving more money at a community college. It was too expensive to live on campus, so I parted ways with the ideas of the cliché college life and accepted the fact that I will always be a commuter.
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Although I had so much to be upset about, I refrained from thinking so negatively because after all, I was attending my dream school. As the months passed, commuting to school began to grow on me. Sure, I hate sitting in traffic, driving in the rain, leaving extra early to be on time for classes, etc., but all of the negatives are incomparable to the positive things that I get from commuting to school.
The perks of living at home are better than ever. I keep in touch with my friends from my hometown while meeting new people and making new friends at school. I am able to keep my part time job while still being focused on my classes. Most importantly, I am able to spend time with my family and friends on a regular basis. My family means the world to me (and so do my dad's home cooked meals), and I wouldn't trade this opportunity for the world.
I travel 45 minutes two times a day in order to get to and from Temple. In my car, I get to blast the heat or air conditioning as high as I want to (downfall of living at home — I have no control over the things that cost money). I drink my coffee, and I can jam to my favorite songs as loud as I want to, or I can educate myself while listening to a scholarly podcast or even quietly reflect on life.
The possibilities for my morning and evening “me-time" are endless. The view of the sunset on my way home from classes is almost as breathtaking as the view of the sunrise on the way there. You hear people talk about “stopping to smell the roses" and although I am driving well over 60 mph on the highway (sorry, dad.), the appreciation that I have for life during those moments is grander than any cliché college experience.
Although I was originally devastated at the thought of commuting to school for my entire college career, I am now realizing that my commuter student status is a blessing in disguise. The time that I have with my family, friends and myself are the greatest experiences that I could ask for, and I am forever thankful for them.