“Ask Kianna” Edition 5- The college commuter experience
Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer
Dear Kianna, while I am happy to be attending Saint Martin’s, I don’t know how to make friends. I am a commuter student, so I don’t get to stay on campus for the late events. After classes I’m worn out and I just want to start on homework or eat with my family.
However, I feel I have been missing out on the college experience. I’m really worried that the next four years will consist of mundane drives and the occasional conversation about homework. I really want more out of college, but I’m not sure how to do it.
Sincerely, Commuter Student
Dear Commuter Student, thank you so much for sending in this letter, and I am happy to offer some guidance and advice. Although I am not a commuter myself, I totally understand how you must feel, as you wish to make the most out of your college years. I live on campus, after I finish classes, sports practice, and my other daily activities, I am too tired to attend late-night events. So, I can only imagine your position and why you feel worn out, since you also have to commute to and from school each day.
Here is my advice to you: You are in charge of creating and shaping your college experience. Whatever visions or goals you have, make them happen. Let me explain what I mean by this. Some of the closest friends I have made at Saint Martin’s are commuter students that I have met in my classes. Yes, while it can be more difficult to create and develop friendships without living on campus, it most certainly can be done. All it takes is a little extra effort, but schedules can be coordinated. With my friends that are commuter students, we exchanged phone numbers and could then set-up times to get together. For example, one of my friends finishes her classes at noon, so we often meet at the cafeteria for lunch before she returns home for the day.
Another point you talked about is feeling tired after classes and wanting to either start homework or return home to be with your family. I can totally relate to those feelings. Even while living on campus, after a long day, I too feel the need to go back to my dorm, unwind, and spend some time by myself. It is totally normal to feel that way, whether you are a commuter student or not. But, I urge you to push aside those feelings if they are preventing you from obtaining the college experience you envision for yourself. Perhaps begin by taking small steps, such as reserving one day of the week for lunch with a friend or attending a campus event.
Just the other night, our school held a dance for students to attend. Tired after a long week, I sat in my dorm room, watched Netflix, and relaxed. Although I enjoyed eating an entire pint of ice cream, multiple servings of popcorn, and taking it easy, I challenged myself to get up and be social. During my time at Saint Martin’s, I desire to meet other students, get involved, and take advantage of the fun opportunities and resources available. Sometimes, this means stepping out of my comfort zone and making time for social activities when I would rather relax or be at home. And, while I do love my Netflix time, I was so glad I decided to attend the dance and meet new people, have fun, and practice my horribly untalented dance moves.
My friend, like I mentioned before, start small and work your way up. You are the boss of your college experience, and I urge you to make the most of it. It will take more energy, time, and commitment to develop friendships and attend campus events, but the memories you make will be well worth it. I wish you the best of luck and hope you enjoy your time here at Saint Martin’s.