“Why wouldn’t you dorm?”, “Isn’t commuting annoying?” “You’re missing out on the true college experience!”
This is what I hear about on a daily basis about my choice to commute. Many students may feel there are missing out by not dorming but it’s just not for everybody. Some choose to commute if the college is relatively close to home, financial reasons or they might not feel ready to leave home just yet.
Commuting can get annoying at times but it’s worth it in the long run. There are times where it would be nice to dorm so I wouldn’t have to commute three hours to get here but I wouldn’t change my decision.
When I decided to dorm my freshmen year, it was the WORST experience ever. Everything that I hoped wouldn’t happen, happened. Eventually moving back with my parents was embarrassing since I barely lasted a week dorming. I don’t regret the decision to move back home but I did wonder if I missed out on the ‘true college experience’. Quite honestly, I think commuting helped to strengthen my experience. Trust me, commuting from the suburbs of New Jersey isn’t the best but the pros of commuting explain why I made the awesome decision.
Three Main Pros of Being a Commuter
1: Privacy! You don’t have to worry about sharing a room with an unruly roommate(s)! I didn’t have the most nicest roommate which made me run back to Jersey and I should have stuck it out. But on the other hand, at least now I can listen to Joy Division and not have to listen to someone complain how horrible my music taste is.
2: Less Drama. While dorming may seem awesome, there’s bound to be drama at every opportunity. I personally can’t stand being around drama and being at home means not dealing with bitchy people. Most of my friends who dorm have experienced some sort of drama whether it concerns their roommate or a drunken student causing some commotion outside their dorm room.
3: More Focused. I know if I were to continue dorming, my procrastination levels would skyrocket! At home, I have more privacy to actually focus on my work (when I attempt to do it). Trying to study in a crowded library, listening to others gossip about nonsensical things and trying to find an empty computer do not sound appealing to me. I’m sure many commuters feel the same way.
These were my top three pros that help me to decide that commuting would work for me. Others may argue that commuting stunts you from being independent. While it would be nice to be independent from my parents, it is always awesome to have my mom make my meals and do my laundry while I’m busy studying last minute for an exam.
I will think of three cons that made my decision slightly difficult but easier to commute.
1: Difficulty Maintaining Friendships. This didn’t really affect my decision as much as I thought it would. Most of my friends live between New Jersey and New York so commuting to see them isn’t that bad. Dorming would make maintaining friends I’ve made here easier especially cause I miss out a lot on college events. The same goes for joining clubs; totally difficult if you commute and the meetings do not match your schedule. Even though joining clubs is not an option for me, volunteering around my hometown has been more rewarding than joining a club.
2: Living at Home. Once we graduate high school, many of us can’t wait to leave home and dorm at college. Living at home may stunt some people from fully becoming independent.
3: Saving Gas Money. Being the procrastinator that I am, I have yet to make the attempt to get my license (due to laziness) but I know people who choose to dorm rather not waste gas on driving from home to school. That money they would save from gas money would probably be better spent on other things.
These three cons didn’t deter me from making my decision of commuting. Yeah, living at home at 21 with nagging parents may not be desirable to some. Most of my friends probably couldn’t handle listening to their sister belt out One Direction songs when you’re hungover or trying to study but it’s a small sacrifice to make for choosing to stay in Jersey. Besides, why would I give up going to the diner at three in the morning to get disco fries or rocking out to Yo La Tengo with my friends to stay in a crowded dorm room with people I may not even like? I know I made the right decision.