To Commute or Not to Commute, That Is the Question

Most traditional students will not have to ask this question. Living on campus will be a no brainer for someone who travels far from home for the cutting edge program at the premier college.

However, with the state of the current troubled economy, most students will not be able to just pick up and go to the best school. They will have to settle for what is in their price bracket, and that may be the community college or 4 year college right down the road.

A student may take the “close by” option, because they want to get in-state tuition, or they may just want to stay close to home. Maybe the program really is just as good. Whatever the reason, the question will have to be asked: to commute or not commute.

To Commute

The student whose parents live close to campus may choose the dorm life for many different reasons. Time, money and preference all

contribute heavily to the decision. One student may be all right with an hour commute while another may not be able to stand it. While someone else sees driving five minutes to class every day as frustrating, because parking will be a nightmare. Then there is the gas money to consider. Gas prices are only going up; using a whole tank to get to and from class every week will add up quickly. The price of owning a car needs to be considered on top of that. If you live on campus, you could walk everywhere without the added expense of a car. However, living at home would free up money to own a car, because dorm living is costly.

There are still major pros to living at home. Your space could truly be your space as opposed to living with a roommate. Food will be less of a problem, because you will not have to buy it. Your environment will be more stable. Living on or near campus could cause a security concern. The biggest draw back seems to appear in the social aspect of life. This is something many students deal with simply to have the peace and quiet of home. They prefer to have an environment that is familiar and without distraction in order to focus on earning their degree.

Not to Commute

Living on campus can be tremendously exciting and a big pain. The traditional student lives in a dormitory with other students who are all going to classes, club meetings and staying up  all hours of the night. Immersion in this highly social atmosphere works very well for some. It may not be for you, because living on campus can get very pricey while offering up many distractions.

Roommate living is like no other living situation. It can teach you some very important communication skills through something as simple as washing dishes. While having friends constantly around to chill with and bounce off ideas can be very rewarding, the stress of living with peers will also drain your energy quickly. This situation calls for clear boundaries and self-control. The experience will be like nothing else you have ever done or will do again.

The answer to this all-important question will come back to each student individually. Each situation is unique; the important thing to do is to make the most of your college years, whether you live on campus or not.

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