I Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Being A Commuter Student

I Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Being A Commuter Student

It was definitely easier living on campus.

At the start of my freshman year, I lived on campus in a dorm. For sophomore year, I lived in an on-campus apartment. After two years, I realized that living on campus was way to expensive for my family and me to afford. My family made just over enough money for me to not be eligible for FAFSA, and the scholarships I received from the school did not cover even 25% of my tuition.

Per month, I was paying $900 a month and I thought that was just absolutely ridiculous. So, I made the decision to live off campus. Now, finishing up my junior year as a commuter, there are definitely things that I miss about living on campus. There are also things that I love about being a commuter. I definitely have a love-hate relationship with being one.

For those of you who may be in the same boat as I was or just want to live off campus but don't know how it will be, I have comprised a list of pros and cons about being a commuter. Hopefully, this list will ease you into a decision fit for you.


1. It is less expensive.

I went from paying $900 a month to only having to pay $300. That $600 difference is such a huge help when it comes to paying for other things.

2. You get to be more comfortable.

No more roommates! Well, unless you want them. I live with my boyfriend and I don't really consider him to be a roommate. I don't have to worry about roommates being annoying and keeping all the lights on or slamming doors at early hours of the morning. The best part is I don't have to wait for them to get out of the bathroom.

3. It will give you a chance to explore.

When I lived on campus, the only places I traveled off campus to were Walmart and Dutch Bros Coffee. Now that I am off campus, I have actually explored the Phoenix area. I have gone to other cities, places I have never been to, and places I have never heard of. I don't think I would have explored if I still lived on campus.

4. It gives you a taste of the "real world".

You have to pay bills, rent, groceries, and gas if you have a car. You get to live on your own without being "sheltered".

See also: The College Years As Told By A Commuter Student Who Is More Involved Than The On-Campus Student


1. It can be a struggle to make it on time to classes.

Let me tell you, I am not a morning person so it is a struggle to get to my 7 am classes on time. If I am being real with you, I live 15 minutes away from campus. Half the time I am 5 - 20 minutes late to class and the other half, I just don't show up because I can't get myself to wake up on time. I definitely miss being able to roll out of bed at 6:55 am and make it to a 7 am class.

2. You can miss out on events.

When you are on campus and the school hosts an event, you are totally up for it. You plan with your friends and you just walk across campus to the event. However, when you are off campus, it can be a little taxing to drive back to the school during 5 pm rush hour traffic to go to an event that turns out to be a little lame. When you live on campus, the event being lame is fine, but when you're off campus, it is just a waste of time.

3. You can become unmotivated.

When I am at home, it feels like it is so hard for me to focus. I have so many distractions. The television, my phone, my boyfriend, my car, my noisy upstairs neighbor. When I am at school, I feel like I focus better.

4. It can be hard to socialize.

When you are on campus and you get a text from your friend at 11 pm saying "let's hang out", it is not a problem. You just exit your dorm and meet somewhere on campus. When you are off campus and get a text at any time, the want to take a rain check is definitely there. Driving 15 minutes to campus to hang out with friends at 11 pm is more tiring than anything else; especially if you have a 7 am the next morning.

5. You have to lug all your stuff around.

If you are involved in groups on campus, you will most likely have to lug around all your stuff. For me, I work on campus and I am in the pep band, as well as a science major, so I have to lug around my work uniform, instrument and band uniform, and my lab coat and goggles. All of this along with my backpack full of school stuff. If you are not involved in anything, then this will not be a problem for you, but for those of you who are, just be careful with your back.

There are times when I do hate being a commuter, but overall, I do love it. I love being able to be on my own, and while I do miss the convenience of being on campus, being off campus is way better for me.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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Calming Music, And 9 Other Study Methods To Prepare College Students For Any Major Exam

When your week gets booked, there are simple ways to help get your mind in the zone.


Making through the first two months of a new semester without breaking down might be considered an accomplishment for college students. If the homework assignments are not as difficult as you originally believed, there should be nothing to worry about. The one major thing that is still considered a pain among college students is exams. The one- or two-page quizzes or long midterms, upon discovering the exact date and time, will send any student into an emotional frenzy. These techniques will help students to overcome the challenges they will face during these terrifying days.

1. Go for a short walk an hour or two before you have a test

Exercise is a great way to distract the mind from stress and improve your memory. It helps if you are walking to get lunch or you are going to the library or another class with someone. Having a conversation with friends about their major and the exam you have that day is beneficial. Talking not only only keeps you focused, but you might learn something from your friends, and they could possibly have advice for you when it comes to preparing for exams.

2. Take frequent 10-minute breaks

When studying for an important test, it is crucial that you take a break after every 45 minutes to an hour of reading or writing something. Even if you are in a study group, leaving to get food, use the bathroom, or just standing up to stretch is good for your mind and body. Make sure the meals you eat are healthy to increase memory retention. Doing a quick 10-minute workout is another method to strengthen your mind.

3. Put on some calming music or perform other small tasks

While studying alone for a midterm or test, putting on soft music while you are reading will help you to stay calm during your study session. When taking a break, doing other activities like cleaning your dorm room, doing yoga, or meditation are other ways to keep your mind focused. Switching up your methods or moving to a place where you can study without any distractions is a priority to achieving success.

4. Watch a Netflix documentary related to the subject

Although television is a distraction from your studies, it might be useful to search on Netflix for an interesting documentary about the exam topic. This is especially great if you are majoring in business, health science, criminal justice, or history. You will hear about all the information related to your test within a few hours. Unlike a lecture, you can pause and leave to get a snack or go to the bathroom without missing anything. As a bonus, if you have to write an essay, you can mention the documentary and reference some facts and other useful information you learned.

5. Make flashcards

One of the best ways to help retain information fast is creating flashcards. Either buy the cards yourself or use a study app. Fill the cards with key terms, facts, essay topic ideas, famous quotes, math problems, or science formulas as something to review (or practice with friends) while studying for an exam.

6. Try making a mind map

If you are having difficulty organizing and summarizing ideas that you have for a topic you are studying, creating a mind map is a unique strategy. Mind maps can be created on paper or by using a computer. This is a simple way to understand material that will be on an exam. Include visuals, words, and ideas, which may help you to remember information.

7. Create a study schedule

During the weeks that students are having midterms, it is challenging trying to balance school and social life. One solution is to make a schedule dedicated to studying for your exams. Mark down on a calendar (or your phone) the times that you have free to study. Putting at least two hours of work a day to prepare for exams will increase your chances of success.

8. Find a secluded place for studying

Another great way to make sure you are retaining the information you are studying is finding a quiet and comfortable area for reading and writing. By relocating yourself to a location you feel relaxed in, the chances of doing better on exams will increase. Make sure that the place is clear of any distractions like televisions, electronic devices (unless you need to use a computer), and loud noises. Some of the best spots can be your dorm room or a reserved spot in the library.

9. Do practice exams

If you want to get in some extra practice for an exam, trying looking on websites or use apps that have quizzes related to your test. Find questions with multiple choice, true or false, short answer, or math problems. Checking your textbook for examples is another good option. This will prepare you for any possible questions that you might see on your exam.

10. Review exam material before going to sleep

When studying for an important exam, try to get some reading done around one or two hours before going to sleep each night. Reading over material or doing some practice questions before going to bed will help you retain information. This is a method known as sleep-learning, and it is effective for college students. While your body is recovering, the brain is processing information during sleep, which means that everything you learned will be stored in your long-term memory.

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