Friday, April 22, 2016

Challenges Commuter Students Face

Commuter students can sometimes feel left out or as if they are not a part of the student body because they miss out on most things that happen on campus. 

This is because most of the events that take place on campus occur during the evening, so only a few commuter students are able to attend. Most commuter students who are actively involved on campus drive to school so it gives them an advantage over commuter students who have to commute by public transportation.

This issue is an important topic which needs to be addressed because part of the experience of going to college is socializing with others, and missing out on such activities takes away from the experience. Especially with media today geared towards representing the excitement of college life, many incoming students get to college to find out there is a huge difference in how college is portrayed depending on where you go to college. The groups that should be interested in this issue includes commuter students, the staff of campus life, and the school administration. Because it is directly related to commuter students, and campus life and the administration are the ones who can help in solving the problem. I think universities everywhere should realize that this is an important issue, and work together with commuter students to make their college life a more delightful experience.

An article posted on the State University website talks about the challenges commuter students face, compared to residential students. It is not really clear who wrote the article, but it is posted on a university page, with credible sources listed.It states that commuters do not have a chance to meet other students and develop relationships because most of these interactions occur cafeterias, resident halls, etc. that is, places that most commuter students do not hang out at. Therefore their options are limited.

Another challenge they often face is with transportation. Parking spaces are limited because a lot of commuter have their own cars. And they also have to arrange their schedules in a way that allows them to attend most of their classes back to back so they do not have to commute as much, and spend less time on campus. Because they spend minimal amounts of time on campus, commuter students are not familiar with the where most things are located on campus so they only go to the buildings where their classes are held and therefore miss out on most events.

Another source describes commuter students and the issues they face. It states that a higher percentage of commuter students have off-campus part-time jobs, and that they feel distant from resident students. It also states that most commuter students chose to commute because they either cannot afford to live on campus or they enjoy the benefits of staying with family or alone. However, they find it difficult to socialize on campus.

In an article by Jenn Inzetta, a college commuter student, she stated that when she decided on a college to attend, the one she chose was about 20 minutes away from her home. She states that she thought about living on-campus but decided it wasn't worth it to spend all that money. 

"I often had large gaps of time in between my classes,not enough time to head home, but just enough time to rationalize my way out of starting my reading and into Facebook stalking in the back of the library. Meeting people was more difficult as well; while everyone else was bonding with their new roommates, I did not have the same built-in social network to start with."  
So she became a commuter, however most of the events on campus were held at night, and her classes were over before 5pm so she was not involved with campus life. She had a hard time socializing and making Until she applied for a job on campus. This is one of the best ways to become an integrated commuter students and not feel left out. Universities should provide more on campus jobs and to encourage commuters to socialize more.

In a blog-post, written by another college commuter student, he discusses how lonely it is being a commuter student because you don't get to meet a lot of people.

So thus, instead of focusing on how lonely you are, put those energies into a personal passion or hobby. For me, it’s video games. I spend a great deal of time playing video games, chatting with people online about them, and while interaction with people over the Internet is far less satisfying than facetime with others, it still alleviates some of the pressure.
 However, this student focuses more on how commuter students should not let that affect them, but should instead channel their energy into doing something else that entertains them.  

In conclusion, I believe it is in the best interests of everyone if colleges and universities realize that there is more to school than just grades, especially with commuter students. Although most decide to stay off campus to save money, or because it is their parent's decision but that does not mean commuter students do not want to be involved in campus activities. For years, since digital journalism became worldwide, commuters have been writing blogs and articles about how their college life does not start out how they expected. I hope this will be one of the blog-posts which will actually help to make a difference in college commuter student's lives.


"Commuter Students - Commuter Student Challenges." - Campus, College, Time, and University. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <>.

"Office for Student Affairs." Office for Student Affairs. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <>.

Jenn Inzetta. "My Life As A Commuter Student." Dating, Fitness, Celeb Gossip & Everything College. 15 Oct. 2010. Web. 01 May 2016.

"The Commuter Student." The Commuter Student. 19 Feb. 2011. Web. 01 May 2016.

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