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The Execs and Cons of Commuting Throughout School

Dorm life isn’t for everybody—should you take pleasure in having your personal house, cooking your personal meals and making impartial selections, then the college-commuter life-style is perhaps for you. Whereas there are challenges that include dwelling off campus, reminiscent of scheduling problems and potential isolation from a built-in social life, many college students discover the liberty value it. Listed here are some professionals and cons to think about.


Monetary Advantages

“I selected to commute as a result of it was going to save lots of me a ton of cash in the long term,” says Maya Stokes, who earned her BFA in dance from Level Park College in Pittsburgh in April. Based mostly on Level Park’s estimated room-and-board value, dwelling at house could have saved Stokes greater than $7,000 per yr. Even when dwelling at house isn’t an choice, commuting can nonetheless be cost-effective: Claire Swanson, a senior dance efficiency and psychology main on the College of Central Oklahoma, discovered that renting an residence with roommates was cheaper than dwelling on campus.

Higher Meals

It’s no secret that dorm meals will be unappetizing and missing in wholesome choices. As a commuter, you’ll have entry to both home-cooked meals or a kitchen of your personal. “I began consuming higher once I moved off campus as a result of I gained the power to cook dinner,” says Swanson.

Peace and Quiet

“Some college students desire a quieter house surroundings, so having the ability to have a retreat away from faculty, and really feel a way of separation, will be useful,” says Colleen­ Hooper, affiliate professor of dance at Level Park. Each Stokes and Swanson loved getting out of the varsity bubble and having their very own house to unwind.

female dancer posing in front of backdrop with purple lights
Maya Stokes. Photograph by Brianna Gelnett, Courtesy Stokes.


Scheduling Challenges

At Level Park, lessons start at 8 am and rehearsals go as late as 10 pm, making for lengthy days and tight schedules. Commuters generally don’t have sufficient time to get house between commitments to check and relaxation—plus there’s the journey time at first and finish of every day. Not having a residence on campus could make it troublesome to seek out the downtime you want.

Inclement Climate

Pennsylvania has harsh winters, so climate was a frequent problem for Stokes. “Typically it snows actually badly, and town doesn’t plow roads, so you need to drive via snowstorms,” she says. Commuters have to ensure they’ve dependable transportation and handy parking, rain or shine.


Commuters are distanced from life on campus, which can assist them separate their private time from faculty however can even result in concern of lacking out. Your residential mates are round one another 24/7, with entry to spontaneous outings, research classes, events and performances. Whereas a busy social life is feasible as a commuter, it could take extra effort to attach with mates on campus.

female dancer balancing on hanging hoop
Claire Swanson. Photograph by Mike Esperanza, Courtesy Swanson

Strive Each

“It’s good for college students to stay on campus their first yr, and as soon as they grow to be extra acquainted, think about shifting off campus,” says Colleen Hooper, affiliate professor of dance at Level Park College. Dancers Maya Stokes and Claire Swanson lived on campus earlier than making the swap—they each loved having the normal faculty expertise­ and making shut mates earlier than­ discovering the liberty that comes with dwelling off campus.

female instructor wearing red striped shirt smiling at camera
Colleen Hooper. Photograph by Megan Gloeckler, Courtesy Level Park.

Ideas for Straightforward Commuting

Prep Your Meals

“Whether or not bringing meals from house or planning the place to exit, don’t simply wing it,” says Colleen Hooper, affiliate professor of dance at Level Park College. Maya Stokes, a 2022 Level Park graduate, would meal-prep dishes for dinner and produce many snacks to maintain her all through the day.

Carry Your Gear

As a dance main, you want garments for sophistication and rehearsal,­ meals for a full day, plus your books and laptop computer for lessons. “I might convey a bag of something I might presumably want for the day,” says Stokes. “I felt higher figuring out I used to be ready.”

Discover Storage

Most colleges have lockers or a lounge that commuters can use to retailer their belongings for the day. Swanson discovered it best to maintain issues in her automobile and return to it between lessons and rehearsals.

Construct a Group

“Make mates with folks on campus who you possibly can stick with on significantly late nights,” says Hooper. Having mates on campus additionally offers you someplace to hang around between lessons.



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