The Professionals and Cons of Commuting Throughout School

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Dorm life isn’t for everybody—in the event you take pleasure in having your personal area, cooking your personal meals and making unbiased selections, then the college-commuter life-style is likely to be for you. Whereas there are challenges that include dwelling off campus, resembling scheduling issues and potential isolation from a built-in social life, many college students discover the liberty value it. Listed here are some execs and cons to think about.


Monetary Advantages

“I selected to commute as a result of it was going to avoid wasting me a ton of cash in the long term,” says Maya Stokes, who earned her BFA in dance from Level Park College in Pittsburgh in April. Based mostly on Level Park’s estimated room-and-board price, dwelling at house could have saved Stokes greater than $7,000 per yr. Even when dwelling at house isn’t an choice, commuting can nonetheless be cost-effective: Claire Swanson, a senior dance efficiency and psychology main on the College of Central Oklahoma, discovered that renting an house with roommates was cheaper than dwelling on campus.

Higher Meals

It’s no secret that dorm meals may be unappetizing and missing in wholesome choices. As a commuter, you’ll have entry to both home-cooked meals or a kitchen of your personal. “I began consuming higher once I moved off campus as a result of I gained the power to prepare dinner,” says Swanson.

Peace and Quiet

“Some college students want a quieter house setting, so with the ability to have a retreat away from college, and really feel a way of separation, may be useful,” says Colleen­ Hooper, affiliate professor of dance at Level Park. Each Stokes and Swanson loved getting out of the varsity bubble and having their very own area to unwind.

female dancer posing in front of backdrop with purple lights
Maya Stokes. Photograph by Brianna Gelnett, Courtesy Stokes.


Scheduling Challenges

At Level Park, courses start at 8 am and rehearsals go as late as 10 pm, making for lengthy days and tight schedules. Commuters typically don’t have sufficient time to get house between commitments to check and relaxation—plus there may be the journey time at first and finish of every day. Not having a residence on campus could make it troublesome to search out the downtime you want.

Inclement Climate

Pennsylvania has harsh winters, so climate was a frequent problem for Stokes. “Generally it snows actually badly, and town doesn’t plow roads, so it’s a must to drive by snowstorms,” she says. Commuters have to ensure they’ve dependable transportation and handy parking, rain or shine.


Commuters are distanced from life on campus, which might help them separate their private time from college however can even result in concern of lacking out. Your residential buddies are round one another 24/7, with entry to spontaneous outings, research classes, events and performances. Whereas a busy social life is feasible as a commuter, it may possibly take extra effort to attach with buddies on campus.

female dancer balancing on hanging hoop
Claire Swanson. Photograph by Mike Esperanza, Courtesy Swanson

Strive Each

“It’s good for college students to reside on campus their first yr, and as soon as they develop into extra acquainted, contemplate transferring off campus,” says Colleen Hooper, affiliate professor of dance at Level Park College. Dancers Maya Stokes and Claire Swanson lived on campus earlier than making the change—they each loved having the normal faculty expertise­ and making shut buddies earlier than­ discovering the liberty that comes with dwelling off campus.

female instructor wearing red striped shirt smiling at camera
Colleen Hooper. Photograph by Megan Gloeckler, Courtesy Level Park.

Suggestions for Simple Commuting

Prep Your Meals

“Whether or not bringing meals from house or planning the place to exit, don’t simply wing it,” says Colleen Hooper, affiliate professor of dance at Level Park College. Maya Stokes, a 2022 Level Park graduate, would meal-prep dishes for dinner and produce many snacks to maintain her all through the day.

Carry Your Gear

As a dance main, you want garments for sophistication and rehearsal,­ meals for a full day, plus your books and laptop computer for courses. “I might carry a bag of something I may presumably want for the day,” says Stokes. “I felt higher figuring out I used to be ready.”

Discover Storage

Most colleges have lockers or a lounge that commuters can use to retailer their belongings for the day. Swanson discovered it best to maintain issues in her automobile and return to it between courses and rehearsals.

Construct a Group

“Make buddies with folks on campus who you may stick with on significantly late nights,” says Hooper. Having buddies on campus additionally offers you someplace to hang around between courses.


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