Julia St. Clair is a junior at Pace University in Pleasantville, N.Y. pursuing a major in Communications, and she is also about to take on a minor in English concentrating on Creative Writing. She works two jobs at the university, being a Student Assistant in Human Resources and a Junior Writing Consultant at the Writing Center. In addition, she has completed two internships, one with Pyramid America, a poster company located in Mount Vernon, N.Y., and another with Cumulus Media of Westchester/WFAS in Hartsdale, N.Y. After she graduates in 2016, she hopes to get a job in either writing or production for television. Furthermore, Julia’s “dream job” is to become the Head Writer/Executive Producer, and even act, in a television drama, specifically the classic ABC soap opera, General Hospital.
When going into college, many students believe that in order to have the “true” college experience, that there is only one way to get it—by dorming. Incoming college freshmen dorm all over the country, and they don’t have to go away to do it. Consequently, many college students who dorm happen to live between five to eighty minutes of their schools. Furthermore, it seems as though dorming is a “must” for anyone who goes into college, with films such as Animal House, Old School, and Love Story pushing this “promise” with storylines of amazing college experiences that will cause students to believe that they will have the same occurances happen to them, too.
However, that is far from the case. Dorming is different for everyone. Some people like it, others don’t. In fact, most students who went from dorming to commuting to school, whether they commute to the school they once dormed at or transferred to another school close to home, happened to overall enjoy commuting to and from campus more than the “glorified” dorming experience. Why? Well, here’s some good reasons:
1.) You have more independence commuting to school than dorming.
Believe it or not, this fact is very true. Due to higher enrollments than ever, some colleges, such as Quinnipiac University in Hamden, C.T., refuse to let freshmen that live on campus have cars. The only freshmen allowed to have cars are the small population that commute to-and-from the university. In order to get around, the on campus population replies on transportation via the university’s shuttle bus system. This has become popular at a lot of schools, and will continue to as their populations increase in order to “give their students a true college experience,” which is a fancy excuse for making sure that anyone who’s not a freshmen has a place to park.
2.) You save a lot more money than you realize.
Of course, between $10,000-$15,000 that would’ve been, or was, room and board, would be spared from the students’, or most likely their parents’, bank account(s), but students who commute also save dollars since they don’t have to worry about paying for laundry, food (campus food isn’t always the best, hens why most on-campus students either cook or order take out every other night), shower totes (for those who live in a dorm building that has community bathrooms), printing (though many schools include printing on their students’ cards, many do not, and students must pay out of pocket), and much more.
3.) You’re in a much more sterile, hygienic environment using the bathrooms at home than in the dorms.
One of the best reasons why commuting is better for you. Unlike in the movies, the bathrooms in most dorm buildings are absolutely disgusting, especially in the community bathrooms found in most double and quad dormitories. Toilets are clogged nine times out of ten, people still don’t know how to flush their bodily wastes at eighteen years old, there’s always puke in at least one sink from the night before that even the cleaning people won’t touch, the list goes on. However, as opposed to popular belief, it is the women’s restrooms in dorms that are far worse than the men’s. Besides unflushed number ones and number twos, they leave behind their “raining blood” not only in toilets, but over the toilets, on the floors, and even in the showers. In addition, when it comes to the showers in the women’s dormitories, many young ladies were never taught how to clean up after themselves, and often tend to leave broken razors and slippery soap as “presents” for whoever else dares to step into the shower they were in next.
4.) By commuting, you’re actually more prepared for real life after college.
Face it, when all is said and done and everyone, the on-campus students and the commuters, have graduated, they’re going to be in for a rude awakening: reality. However, commuters tend to be better equip to starting jobs full time than many graduates who lived on campus. First off, they already know how to commute since they’ve been doing it for between most to half of their college careers. Secondly, since they’re used to making daily commutes, they have better time management skills, too. It’s hard for people who lived on campus for four years and rolled out of bed five minutes before class started that you actually have to get up, and get dressed, a few hours in advance and make an effort to be on time. Speaking of on time, at most jobs and many internships, on time means between 10-15 minutes early. In addition, commuters have either lived home or lived on their own, and don’t have to adjust to anything with their living situations unless they’re moving. Furthermore, on-campus students have to readjust to life during summer break, only with much more hard work that’s simply called growing up.
Therefore, it seems that commuting seems to be a better option than dorming in a lot of cases. However, some schools have quite a few dormitories that are wonderful havens of friendship and cleanliness that will give their residents a positive, happy experience. Everyone experiences college differently, but most miss the true message when applying to, choosing, and attending a school—you don’t have to do anything “specific” to have the “true” college experience, especially dorming. College is what you make of it, and by commuting, you could actually have more fun.