How much is your freshman experience worth? If you spent the last semester on campus, you may be taking your experience for granted. Many commuters have expressed remorse over the lack of social activity, events missed, and a general disconnectedness from campus. When I questioned two commuting sophomore students, one who spent their first year on campus and one who didn’t, they had similar experiences but also noticeable differences between the stories.
First, the student who lived on campus last year can recall having a few more friends than the other student who was always a commuter. The other problem with living off campus is the possibility of missing activities that are common knowledge to those that live on campus. Often times the commons are the main place to advertise events and activities around campus. This affects commuters because they usually don’t have a very big meal plan, so they don’t enter the commons some weeks and are unaware of the events.
At the end of the day, not everyone cares about activities and fellowship with students is achieved elsewhere, however, saving money becomes a big priority for commuters. You may be asking “how much do you save by commuting?” The exact amount varies but the average commuter saves about $2,000- $4,000. The amount changes based on how far you have to drive, how often you eat out and if you have a job.
Pros- Save money, sleep better, and live healthier
Cons- Less awareness of activities and you miss out on the “freshman experience”
Disclaimer: This does not apply to everyone and it is just an average assessment of those I interviewed.