Should I dorm or should I commute? This is the question so many college students ask themselves, each and every year while planning for school. If you chose to go to a school relatively close to your house than the option to commute is open and you can really do either of the two, but there are definitely some major benefits to being a commuter. Let me tell you about them.
For starters, the first thing everyone will realize is the savings! Given that the alternate to staying at campus is living at home, you will save an average of $11,000 on just room and board! This price is not including the additional costs of living at school, that you wouldn’t have at home such as laundry fees, grocery shopping, and basic necessities for everyday. When leaving home for school the opportunity cost is huge. This includes giving up whatever income you are able to make when you live at home, this could be a part time job or maybe babysitting for a neighbor. Money not spent will equal money saved, money to be used on an apartment once you have graduated college or on something else like a car payment.
A major reason why I chose to stay home instead of living in a residence hall was that I have a large family and did not want to miss family events that you would if you were at school. Yes, many people will come home for major events such as weddings and the birth of a new family member. Although, you have to consider the little things, going out to eat with family, watching the World Series cheering on your favorite team with your family, or even just the times sitting around the table laughing about each other’s day is important to many.
Having your family around you doesn’t just mean that you will not miss the laughs but it also gives you the peace mind that someone is there during the rough times too. College is a stressful time for all new students with exams, long study hours, and conflicts amongst new friendships. The time spent in a dorm room all alone can really put stress on a new student’s mind. Being alone is never good when students become stressed and depressed but being home with family really eases the situation. Family is available to talk out problems with, give you homework help, or be a shoulder to cry on.
Do you have the one meal that mom makes that you enjoy so much? Want to live on campus? When you are at school you will not have the ease of access to enjoying that meal when you want. Mom’s home cooking goes out the door as soon as you decide to live at school.
Have I still not convinced you to commute yet? Well, did you know that 99% of “resident” activities are also open to commuters? That’s right! You do not need to live on campus to participate in all of those cool activities. While a commuter may not be on campus all the time they still have the opportunities that residents do. You can still join a fraternity or go to a movie night in the Campus Center. Also, what about those pesky roommates? Someone who stays up late at night making noise when you need to sleep before a major exam or the girl who doesn’t pick up her clothes. Living at home, it’s just like high school you are in your bedroom living life in there as you wish.
After college a majority of us will go off and into the work force. We will either stay home or move into an apartment, but there is one thing you will not do. You will not live at your place of work. You’re going to need to COMMUTE to work each and everyday. College is a good practice run of learning how to get up and leave the house every morning. You’ll learn how much time you need, traffic patterns, and even where to get the best coffee and BEC’s! All these things help you prepare for life after college to be a successful worker.
By this point I genuinely hope that I’ve convinced you or at least opened up your mind to the idea of being a commuter. Five days a week I get up and make my commute to Farmingdale, here is a peak into my day as a commuter.
5:30 AM- Alarm goes off
5:55 AM- At the gym
6:45 AM- Coffee #1
7:45 AM- Drive to Farmingdale from Elmont (45 minutes normally)
8:30 AM- Coffee #2
9:25 AM- Class till 3:00
4:00 PM- Back home
Now what you do not see listed above, are the clubs and activities that I STILL get to do while I’m on campus. This was just a rough idea of my day, somedays I stay on campus late to hang with friends or other days I go home right after class to be with my family. This is the beauty of being a commuter.