According to the Department of Education, nearly 50 percent of the nation’s college students commute to their classes, meaning that they do not live on campus. They range in age from fresh high school graduates to parents or other adults going back to school later on life. Commuters are a new class of students who are committed to other responsibilities while attending classes, and also those who hope to save money by not living on campus. While some schools like Florida Atlantic University are largely commuter, they are doing as much as they can to change that status.
As a senior at FAU, I’ve had my fair share of experience with the idea of living on or off campus. I can personally tell you the pros and cons of each scenario..
- Living on campus benefit- No commute. My first year I lived on campus, and boy was it great to wake up just before class and walk over to my building. In between classes I could go back to my room and take a nap if I wanted to. When you commute, you will not have that luxury…I now wake up about two hours before my class to ensure I have enough time to get dressed and drive forty minutes to campus so that I can get there early and find a parking spot.
- Living at home benefit- Saving $$$. By living at home, I’m not paying $4000 a semester for a cramped dorm room and a meal plan…I’m sleeping in my own bed, eating the free food that’s in my house, and not paying to do laundry. And when my financial aid kicks in for the semester, I can keep my refund check instead of having to pay for campus housing.
- Living on campus benefit- Better relationships with others. I won’t lie, I made more friends when I lived on campus than once I started commuting. Making relationships with people you see in class all the time won’t hurt you. Its also helpful to live on campus when you want to craft a good relationship with your professors because now I face the dilemma of teachers having office hours on days I’m not on campus.
- Living at home benefit- NO ROOMMATES. For me, this was the absolute worst part of my experience. I lived in a suite with three other girls, two of which were the DIRTIEST people I have ever met in my life. They never cleaned up after themselves, threw parties in our living room, and tried to steal things from my room when I wasn’t there. Of course this doesn’t cover everything they did, but you can get the picture and understand why I decided to move back home..
I hope my experience with both situations gives some insight to readers. Honestly I would recommend trying to live on campus because if it doesn’t work out, at least you can say you tried.