Is Commuting the Best Option for You?

Many college students, especially first-year students, choose to commute for a number of reasons. Some of them include financial restrictions, being close to their family, privacy concerns as well as others. Living off-campus has its advantages and disadvantages but before you make your decision, examine the value of living on campus.

On-campus housing is not as expensive as most students and their parents think, especially when you take into consideration the costs of public transportation, car maintenance, parking fees, fuel and food at home. All the facts and numbers should be analyzed in order to make a rational decision that fit your needs.

If you opt for commuting even after talking about finances with your family, think about the social experiences you might miss out on. College is a great opportunity for students to develop social skills by living with people from different backgrounds and cultures. It is also the time when you learn how to be more independent and responsible.

Since students lose time commuting and have limited time for college activities, they also do not have enough time to participate in on-campus activities or meeting with professors. These students find it difficult to balance school, family, work and friends.

With all that in mind, the number one priority for college students is to learn and that can be done without living on-campus. Commuting could be the right choice for you if you are ready to face the challenges of ensuring you get the college experience. So, if you opt for commuting, the following tips will be helpful:

  • Organize study groups and study on campus
  • Join a student club or a sport team
  • Use public transportation to have more time to study
  • Have meals on-campus whenever possible
  • Become friends with students who live on-campus

Being a college student brings about big changes even if you are staying at home and not living on-campus. It might seem that since you are at home things will be the same as when you were in high school, but you have to know that college demands much more commitment and sacrifice. Therefore, your school will become a full-time job and your home will be the place where you sleep and prepare your meals. This means you will need the support of your family and friends because you will not have the same amount of time to spend with them as you did before.

Additionally, you should discuss new rules with your family now that you are a college student that commutes. Yes, you are still sleeping in your childhood bedroom, but you should talk about your parents’ expectations concerning going out and returning home, household chores, finances, family obligations and other changes so that you can concentrate on school. You all should be prepared for the changes college life requires, regardless of whether you choose campus housing or living at home.

If you want - or must - commute, remember, you will have more privacy, you will still enjoy home-cooked meals and you will have the support of your loved ones.


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