Commuter Life: The experimental college experience

Bunce Hall, on the campus of Rowan University. -Photo Editor/Amanda Palma

It may be trite to say, but commuters aren’t as fully immersed in the full college experience as students who live on campus. While all students have different adventures in college, many of us who still live at home follow an narrow and exclusive avenue during “the greatest four years of our lives.”

Sure, living on campus removes students from the comfort of their parents and home life by plunging them into the uncertainty and chaos of balancing schoolwork with health and  a social life, but most people seem to have an easier time integrating themselves into extracurriculars that way.

For commuters, what little free time we may have for clubs is replaced with the hustle and bustle of finding parking and just barely clipping the clock of getting to class on time.

I, unlike many college students who wait until the last minute to complete assignments, do not enjoy studying past midnight and arriving late to class.

It leads me to wonder how commuters, especially those who live long distances from college, balance a normal life outside of school, submit assignments, have a social life, a job, enough time to sleep and still find the time to be involved in school activities, clubs or sports? We all try to find the time for the things we cherish, whether it be a project you need to do well on, the family dog that explodes with love when he sees you or rocking out to a band whose song has been stuck in your head for weeks.

It can be easy to manage two responsibilities at once but add on three more, and you may crash and burn. Time management is the true secret to a fully immersive college experience. Putting aside something you’re worried about (parking in between classes) to go catch the meeting for a new club that interests you is more beneficial in the long run.

Here are a few ways you can stay involved even if you don’t live on campus:

1. Rowan Daily Mail/Announcer emails — Most people’s first instinct might be to ignore or delete mail that you don’t care about. Before you do either of those, check it out. There could be something cool going on at Rowan that you would be interested in. Club meeting announcements are thrown in as well. Rowan reaches out to its students for involvement, don’t look away!

2. Chamberlain Student Center and Campus Activities — According to Rowan’s website, the Chamberlain Student Center and Campus Activities is focused on “engaging social experience on campus.” There are multiple links on their webpage to help students get involved.

3. Proflink — A great way to know what’s going on around campus is by using Proflink. Explore the site to find events this week or next month to attend. Not only is it helpful for activities, but club meetings are posted along with jobs hiring.

4. Just ask — If you’re interested in a club or activity and don’t know where to start, just ask! Professors, faculty or even classmates might know the answer you’re looking for. Making the first step will better your opportunity of getting involved on campus.

The best way for someone who isn’t constantly on campus is to stay on campus when you know activities or meetings are occurring. Simply searching online and finding something you’re interested in can make the process more exciting. Don’t forget the positive outcomes while getting involved with clubs and activities. Not only does it build friendships, but it can also be a great conversation piece during a job interview.

So, if you’re a commuter itching to be a part of Rowan’s campus, search far and wide for an activity that works in your schedule and simply try it! It may be worth it.

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