Pros and Cons of Being a Commuter

Disclaimer: When I chose Marquette as the college I would be attending, I was intending to live on campus.  However, due to unforeseen financial circumstances, the only way I could still attend Marquette would be to commute.  Obviously, if I had chosen a college farther away, I wouldn’t have had any choice in staying at home.

“Oh, you live at home?”

“How do you make friends?”

“Why don’t you live on campus?”

“Are you still getting the college experience?”

These are all questions that I, as a commuter at Marquette University, get asked.  Sometimes I can hear a twinge of pity in the person’s voice, sometimes they really are just curious.  They are all valid questions, though, questions that I had to answer for myself before I made the decision to withdraw from my residence hall and commute.  So in this blog post, I’m going to clear up for everyone what it means to “commute” to college.

I’ll address the first question.  Yes, I live at home.  However, you don’t have to live at home with your parents in order to be considered a commuter.  If you live anywhere that isn’t university owned, you’re a commuter.  In a few years, this may mean that I live in an apartment only a few blocks away from campus, but for now, I live in West Allis with my Mom and adorable dog for roommates.

Just because I commute doesn’t mean that all I do is go to class and study all the time.  While some days I do go home right after class is over, there are some days I stay later, whether it be for a club meeting or just to hang out.  Marquette has a Commuters’ Lounge just for commuters to hang in, which is where I spend most of my time and where I’ve met most of my friends.  I also do have a few friends who live on campus, and I’ve actually spent time inside an actual dorm room!  So to everyone who asks me this question, just because I commute does not mean that I’m a hermit!

As for the college experience, I really think that the stereotypical college experience is just something that is sold way too hard by movies and television shows.  Even if I were living in the dorms, my ‘college experience’ would still be different from Anissa’s, which is different than Mia’s, which is different from Sabrina’s, and so on and so forth.  College is probably the most unique experience of your life.  You get to choose who you hang out with, where you go and at what times, and what you prioritize.  I’m still joining clubs, I’m taking classes that I want to take, and I’m making friends.  College is definitely an experience that will give you what you put into it, so just because I’m living at home doesn’t mean I’m any different than any other person attending.

That said, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some drawbacks.  I don’t have a car, which means I either rely on public transportation or my family to drive me to and from school.  If I had my own car, I’d definitely be on campus more often, but since I don’t, I don’t have the luxury of being down at school as much as I would like to be.  But a perk to this is that my commuter friends who have cars and live close can pick me up when we decide to do stuff like go to the movies or other things around town.

Either way, I’m really happy that at the least, I get to attend Marquette, which is an awesome university! If you’re considering being a commuter, or maybe even dreading it, don’t because college is what you make it.

 

Megs and Freinds oct 2014

Me and my friends! (I’m the girl in the bottom right corner).  Photo cred to Joshua.

Wisconsin: Cows and Commuting

Hello cyberworld!  I’m Megan.  Of my table comrades, I’m the only one who chose to stay not only very close to home, but to live at home.  I’m a commuter student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I’m in the College of Nursing, and I’d like to hopefully minor in Spanish for the Health Professions.  Now, since I don’t have any cool move-in stories for y’all, I’ll just tell you a little bit about my college experience so far.

On the Wednesday before school started, I attended an event specifically for commuters.  My mom dropped me off, and even though I would be seeing her in a matter of hours, she still started crying.  She managed to calm down before I got out of the car, but then she told me that after I left, she started blubbering like a baby again.  Any who, I got out of the car, walked into the Alumni Memorial Union (AMU) and looked around like a typical freshman. Thankfully I found a few other people heading to the commuter lounge and just followed them to the event.

So orientation went well, I met people during small group.  Even though the college claims we’ll be friends forever, I’m pretty sure I’ll never speak to any of them again, blah blah blah.  Since I don’t live on campus, it can be really easy for me tofeel like I don’t belong anywhere, which is where the Commuters Lounge comes in!  On the third day of class I hiked up my big girl panties and walked in so I wasn’t eating alone (which, contrary to Anissa’s belief, is not sad, it’s actually relaxing).  Over the past week or so, I’ve gotten to know some pretty awesome people.  I’ve also learned a new card game for when the Table reunites (get ready for Polish Poker everyone!).

While it does seem like being a commuter takes a lot of work, I’m actually really enjoying living at home.  I can come and go on campus as I please, even though I am at the whim of the Milwaukee County Transit System.  And since I don’t have anywhere to go and  just chill out on campus, I get a majority of my homework and reading done for the next day while I’m still at school.  Which means when I go home, I get to do whatever I want ( watch trashy reality television).

That doesn’t mean I don’t plan on being involved.  Marquette has a ton of great service opportunities, many of which I hope to take advantage of.  I’m also an automatic member of the Marquette University Student Nurses Association, a club that does fun get togethers to do service and do other nurse-y stuff.  I’m also going to be a member of The Stitch Society, which is a knitting and crocheting club.  I’m sure there’ll be more clubs in the next four years, but I’m going to stick with two for now!

All in all, I’m really excited to see what the next four years have in store for me

So as a part of this post Michelé has asked each of us to write three goals for the year.  Here are mine:

  1. Volunteer with Marquette at least twice a month.
  2. Save at least $500 to go to Peru my junior summer.
  3. Become involved with one student organization.

Megs and her parents Aug 2014

Megan and her parents