Location, Location, Location
Whether you’re a resident student living on campus or commuting to school, location plays a huge role in the college experience.
People living in different locations face different situations and issues when the school year rolls around.
For example, as a resident student I’ve faced the issue of not seeing my family and friends for weeks or even months at a time. This is because I am very involved in school outside of class and I stay on campus most weekends for my activities rather than going home. The cost of room and board is not pocket change. Since I live on campus it’s not essential that I own a car at this point in time, although it would sure be convenient not to ask people for rides when I want to go somewhere. (Although lately I’ve needed to venture off campus to important places like work and the doctor’s office, I strongly dislike asking for rides even when I really need to get somewhere.) Getting my friends outside of Misericordia together to hang out during the school year is a stretch because we all live on our own campuses. Being so far away from everyone and being so busy creates distance between all of us that is often hard to cover, especially without a car. I miss home-cooked meals and how my dogs get excited when my parents come home from work and hanging out with my little cousins. As much as I love school and the people here, sometimes I just need to get away from it all. That can be hard when I’m living in the middle of it.
I can’t say I’ve commuted to school from off campus, but I’m sure most commuter students have their own issues. I know from personal accounts that it can get annoying to live at home. It’s rough trying to get a car to campus in the relentless winters and even worse trying to find a decent parking spot every day. Commuter students might feel distant at times, not wanting to drive back to school or stay at school long enough to attend on-campus events. And gas prices…we won’t even go there. Dare I mention car problems like a dead battery or flat tire? Although resident students might miss their families and friends back home, students commuting might feel smothered by seeing these people so often and living by the same rules as ever. Just because you have a car doesn’t make you a taxi service. (Don’t you just hate when people ask you for rides? Ugh, so annoying.)
The problems are endless if you keep thinking about them. But to any student- have you ever explored the solutions?
If you’re thinking about reaching out to someone, you probably should. I’m convinced that the times I’ve called my aunt or grandmother randomly between classes just to check in made their day. And although they may not say it, I like to think that my parents appreciate when I give them a little ring on the ‘telly.’ Heaven knows my little cousins love hearing from me! Visit your friends and family when you can whether you live on or off campus. College is a lot to handle between studies and activities, but make sure you keep in touch with people who mean something to you. Send a letter when you can and give a call when you think you should.
Commuters: Make friends who live on campus.
Residents: Make friends who live off campus.
This is a vital piece of advice. No matter where you live, it gets old every now and then. Reach out and make friends from everywhere. If you need to get away from the stress of school for a while, go hang out off campus at someone’s house. And if you need a break from doing your chores at home or listening to your dog bark, head to campus and chill with your resident friends. If residents have leftover meals from their meal plan, give commuters first dibs. In turn I’m sure your commuter friends wouldn’t mind having residents over for homemade dinner every now and then. When the weather is nasty, share your on-campus residence so commuters don’t have to drive in dangerous conditions. (Make sure you fill out the necessary overnight guest form online! Ask your RA where to find it.) When you know your pal needs to get to the store but feels bad asking, offer a ride. Feed each other. Help each other. Have sleepovers. Take advantage of your differences and everyone will be a winner.
Remember how good you have it. Let’s face it- there are going to be little problems no matter where you live. Keep in mind that if your parents annoy you by calling you twice a day it’s because they care about you, and if your parents are at home smothering you it’s for the same reason. At this point you are blessed enough to be able to attend school and receive an education- something millions of people will never have the opportunity to do. Try to outweigh the little problems and complaints by focusing on the good things in life. College is about learning and growing. Don’t let anything keep you from doing just that!