Living off campus can be great, you don't have to worry about a crazy roommate, loud neighbors, or late night fire drills, but commuting also has its downsides. The driving can be frustrating and sometimes you can't help but think that the time spent on the road could've been spent studying. Every commuter can relate to these difficulties, but if you live on campus, here's a little peak into our lives.
1. The traffic
Having to deal with traffic on the way to class is the worst, especially when you have an early morning class. That means you're stuck in rush hour with everyone trying to get to work. Dealing with the drive to school is particularly stressful when you have a quiz or test in your first class; not knowing if there will be a accident to cause a delay only adds to the stress.
2. Having to wake up early
Because of living further away and the aforementioned traffic, you have to get up significantly earlier than your on campus counterparts. I live about 45 minutes away from College of Charleston, and that's on a good day. For a 10 am class I wake up at 7:15 to have time to eat and get ready, then leave my house by 8:30 to make sure I don't get held up in traffic and can find a parking space.
Parking on campus can be a hassle. If you don't have a parking pass, you have to hope that your normal parking garage or lot has space open and if you're on a tourist heavy campus like College of Charleston, you won't find a place to park for free. If you do have a parking pass, you probably payed a pretty good chunk of change to get it.
4. Meeting People
Since you don't have a dorm, you don't make friends with your roommates and you probably don't attend many campus organized meetup events since your main priorities are going to class then going home to study. The best way to make friends as a commuter is to join clubs and school organizations, like the Odyssey!
5. Going to campus events
Going to campus events that held at night, parties, or even wanting to just grab dinner with friends is pretty hard. Doing anything at night means you will probably have to make plans to stay in a friend's dorm overnight. And going to a meeting or getting dinner with classmates means you're not going to be able to get home until much later than usual.
6. Public transportation
Taking the bus can be a good way to avoid parking and you can sometimes do homework on the ride, but it's not exactly ideal. It's almost always crowded, it can be very noisy, and it's nearly never on time.
7. What to do during long breaks between classes
Luckily, I have a friend who lets me hang out in her dorm during my free time, but that's not the case for everybody. It also doesn't always work out; she has a different schedule than me and other responsibilities. Sometimes you have to go to the library or a campus lounge and you can catch up on homework, but it's nice to have a place to just relax.
8. Group projects
Everyone in your group has a different schedule and you don't exactly want to work on the project in the evening when you could be home doing other assignments. You have to make sure everyone can meet enough between classes during the day to get the work done, but sometimes you can't help but feel a bit high maintenance.
Despite the difficulties that come with commuting, there's nothing quite like going to your own house, seeing your dogs, and being able to crash in your own bed.