Whether you have a friend from class who is a commuter, or you yourself are considering commuting next semester, here are some things you need to know.
1. Commuting can be much cheaper than living on campus.
This is the main reason I decided to make the commute. Yes, I spend a lot of money on gas, but I'm not paying room and board. In the long run, I'll be in less debt when I graduate because of my decision to stay home; and to me, that's worth it.
2. You'll appreciate home so much more.
When you hear stories about people pooping in the dorm showers, you'll be grateful for your own clean, private bedroom and bathroom at home.
3. It can make it hard to meet people.
The worst thing about commuting is when you come to class and watch as girls from the same hall sit together and talk about what happened at the party last night. They don't want to exclude you, but they barely know you. They all have the advantage of living together and being on campus 24/7 to experience every event, every party, and every down moment together. As a commuter, it can be hard to get plugged in and feel connected to other students.
4. The drive will be the best and worst part of your day.
Some mornings when I have to wake up a 5:45 to make the 30-minute drive and I'm fighting to keep my eyes open, and then somebody cuts me off in traffic, I really want to just throw in the towel. But then there are days where I'm driving with my windows down and the music blasting my favorite song and I'm just so happy that I get this time to myself and that I woke up in my own bed that morning. It's a double-edged sword.
5. Parking sucks.
I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND WHY FIRST YEAR COMMUTERS CAN ONLY PARK IN THE Q LOT. I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY $300 TO PARK ON NORTH CAMPUS. This will never cease to infuriate me. Finding a parking spot can be risky business. Sometimes the shuttle will make you late. These are just things you have to factor in when you plan to commute.
6. It could be just right for you.
At the end of the day, I'm so happy that I get to live in my own home and go wherever I want whenever I want. I'm happy that I don't have to deal with a roommate or dining hall food. I love the freedom I get from commuting and I wouldn't have it any other way.