After deciding on which college to attend, many traditional students decide to live on campus. For many this is the only obvious choice. However, those that live close to campus must decide whether to live on campus or to commute from their homes every day.
Among other factors, a student might decide to commute for financial reasons.
“It is mainly cheaper to drive here every day, even with the gas prices going up” senior forensics chemistry major Joe Gump said.
Gump commutes daily from North Lawrence, Ohio, which is about a thirty minute drive.
The current fee for on-campus room and board is $8,454 annually and over four years equates to $33,816. Many commuters avoid this additional cost by driving to school every day.
Ashley Barstow, a youth ministry major, said, “I won’t have as many loans when I graduate.”
Financial considerations are an important factor for Barstow, who drives a twenty minute commute from Perry Township in Massillon every day.
“Constantly driving to the same place every day does become tedious. though,” Barstow said.
Senior political science major Paul Olander likes commuting. It is ideal for him to live at home so he can also hold a job outside of school. Living at home allows him to easily travel to his job at Mercy Medical Center.
Although there are many advantages of commuting, there are also disadvantages. One of these is not being able to build relationships with fellow students as well as those who live on campus.
Ashley Lautzenhiser, a senior business administration major, said she would have liked to live on campus.
“Looking back I wish I could have lived here. Being a commuter you don’t have the chance to build as many friendships as you would like,” Lautzenhiser said.
Olander lived on campus his first two years of school.
“I was able to build relationships my freshman and sophomore year. Then when I decided my junior year to commute I still knew a lot of people,” Olander said.
Josh White, and junior Bible and theology major and Student Senate commuter director, said that lack of community is one of the biggest downfalls of being a commuter. Ever since he took the position on Student Senate, he has noticed that there is a lack of cohesiveness in the commuter experience. “Most of the time people show up, go to class, and leave. Not a lot of people want to invest in the community.”
White says it is not difficult to be involved in the student life as a commuter.
“It is only [difficult] if you make it difficult,” White said.
White encourages commuters to attend events on campus.
“This is not just a place where you go to school, it’s a place where you grow as a person,” said White. “Being intentional with your relationships on campus, and being intentional how you view your time here. That’s the biggest thing.”
Brook Pittinger is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.