Pros and cons of being a commuting college student

Katie Schmidt

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Whether you live in a residence hall or at home, there are plenty of things to complain about. Dorm students may have to deal with shared bathrooms and loud roommates, but here’s the low down on being a commuter student.

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The cons

Bad weather? Tough luck: It may have snowed 12 inches, but don’t hold your breath for a snow day. Not only do commuters have to deal with bad road conditions, they also have to wake up early on snowy days to get a head start to school. The dorm students may complain about their first Colorado blizzard, but they don’t have to defrost the car for 15 minutes.

Driving, driving, driving: When you commute to school, it seems like you spend more time on the road than in class. All that driving means your wallet is sucked dry by your gas tank. As if that isn’t bad enough, traffic is at its worst on Fridays. TGIF quickly fizzles out when I-25 traffic is moving at a speedy 10 miles per hour. Office workers used to work nine to five, but now it seems the weekend begins in the middle of the afternoon when most students are getting out of class. Get ready for road rage, white knuckle driving and a sore neck.

Disconnect from the campus: There are plenty of sports and clubs at Colorado State University, but it is difficult to participate when you live an hour away from campus. Because clubs are catered to students that live on campus or nearby, commuter students often have to spend extra hours on campus rather than going home and returning to campus for the club. Commuter students have to find a balance of how willing they are to spend extra time on campus in exchange for a social circle.

The pros

Singing in the car: Spending an hour in the car gives you ample time to belt out your favorite tunes without others hearing. Alternately, you can listen to audiobooks to get ahead in your English classes – or reread your favorite book. So go ahead, sing “Somebody That I Used to Know” at the top of your lungs.

Living with parents: Most people cannot wait to move away from home. However, it can be a good way to save money. Even though a week’s worth of commuting can cost around $70 per week, living with your parents gives you a break from paying for rent and utilities. You might even get along better with your parents than if you got an apartment with a roommate. Also, the dorm students must be so envious of the home cooked meals your mother makes for you.

Avoiding the party crowd: It seems the farther you live from campus, the more quiet the neighborhood. Living in a neighborhood that consists of mostly retired residents, you never have to deal with loud parties distracting you from studying or keeping you up all night. However, noisy dogs are unavoidable.

Driving long distances to campus may be a drag, but commuter students always need to look at the silver lining.

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Collegian Interactive News Team member Katie Schmidt can be reached at socialmedia@collegian.com or on Twitter @KatieDSchmidt.