This past semester, I chose to be a commuter. I’ve been living in dorms and on-campus apartments and taking the “college experience” for the past three years. I finally decided to switch it up a little. Plus, my parents have constantly been pestering me about living at home so it’d save money and it was driving me crazy. Looking back, there was definitely a different change from the campus life to the commuter life. I learned there were equal benefits to both sides of the coin I never really considered before.
Pro: That explains itself. No noisy roommates to contend with, no wild parties, no having to hear people scream while they’re incoherently drunk outside through your thin walls. Plus if your laptop unexpectedly crashes in the middle of the semester, and you can’t get a new one, you have to face the desktops in the library, where it’s an open space and people around you aren’t usually the most subdued...it works for the best.
Con: It gets a little lonely. At least in the library, you might get a chance to run into a friend and say hi and catch up for a little. But once you’re home, you can’t help but feel as though you’re in a distant world away from them. Sometimes you want a little social time that’s not with your parents.
Pro: You get to relish the luxury of eating home-cooked meals while still grabbing a bite on campus whenever you feel like it, and even jump on the bus to eat out.
Con: Depending on who you are and the kind of eater you are, you find your wallet in both your student card and credit card declining sufficiently at least every other week.
3. Driving (when you can’t)
Pro: You get to have your parent drive you and spend some quality minutes taking much needed more time sleeping in the car.
Con: If you have a morning class, you can’t exactly sleep in and skip since your parent is going to wake you up and have to drive you. There’s no snooze button for that.
(Con #2): If you don’t feel like catching that commute on the bus which could take a while, or you don’t feel like paying for Lyft/Uber, you have to wait for your parents to get done with work and come pick you up. Depending on the day and the parent, it could take a few hours.
4. Social life
Pro: If you’re a bit of an ambivert, you don’t really find chances to meet up with your friends on campus, which is good if you prefer to be a recluse and like your space.
Con: Whether an ambivert or extrovert, you still have that extroverted side, and there are some times when you come to miss your friends because there isn’t much time to spend with them.
Pro: You get to dump your laundry in with your parents’, and there's never a ridiculous wait because all the machines are in use. This is your own time.
Con: Your laundry can get mixed in with your parents and you end up finding your stuff in theirs or theirs in yours. Just like the early years, eh?
I only wished I thought more about commuting sooner and considered the benefits. It’s been only a semester, but I’ve enjoyed it more than the full two I’ve had on campus. I recommend trying it out if you can, because you’ll see what conveniences it can bring. No matter what kind of person you are; if you’re quiet and recluse, social and outgoing, or a mixture of both, there’s always privileges. It may be a bit early to say, but for me, I’d go with commuting. No roommates, no loud craziness going on. All the same, I’m still a recluse in my own room but at least I can get my own peace and quiet and privacy.