Everyone knows a commuter student. You see them going to classes, reading at the library, maybe eating lunch at the Top. But you never see them walk into their dorm at the end of the day. Instead they have a pretty comfy bed at home, with their parents fixing food for them, and some much-needed animal interaction with their pets.
Speaking with Kiona France, she told me that it has been difficult to connect with other students on campus. She would much rather have the other students come to her, as many commuters feel because they often leave earlier in the day. Kiona understands that it is wishful thinking and she is trying to remedy her situation moving in to the dorms next semester, even though she lives in town and is only three minutes away.
[Kiona] would much rather have the other students come to her, as many commuters feel because they often leave earlier in the day.
Jason, a nontraditional student who lives in Lebanon, Ohio, lent some insight on what he thinks about commuter life. He has a wife and family back home and he thought it might be “creepy” if someone his age lived on campus and interacted with the younger college students. He’s not really looking to connect with anyone around as he put it “most people my age are already comfortable with being uncomfortable, and it’s not something I’m looking to do again.” Though he is fine with being in his own bubble, Jason is still looking to attend a few campus seminars.
Maraya Wahl, our editor and chief and a commuter student, shared, “As an older commuter, I’ve been able to hang out with my friends in my downtime a bit more. But when I’m on my own I spend a lot of time in the library or at Kava Haus in town when it’s open.”
She has been commuting for five years now, with a travel time of about thirty minutes. She fixes that issue by staying on campus at least two nights a week usually crashing with dorm students.
She shared, “I would tell new commuters to get involved as soon as possible in things they enjoy doing, because that’s the only way to become familiar with the campus in the way that on-campus students do.” She also speaks to being an upperclassman and how easier it is to get involved with things on campus because she knows Wilmington more than when she first started.
“I would tell new commuters to get involved as soon as possible in things they enjoy doing, because that’s the only way to become familiar with the campus in the way that on-campus students do.” – Maraya Wahl, upperclassman commuter
Being a commuter is difficult. You may feel like the odd man out. You may also feel a little cheated because of the money and energy you expend to get to campus, but those are trivial things to worry about.
Sigrid Solomon, Vice President for Student Affairs, is also the lady to talk to in these situations. Her department will be coming out with the Commuter Student Association soon to let commuters have a voice in the college and find a way to become involved.
It’s college, and you should enjoy every minute of it. If you’re living on campus and see a commuter, try to interact and get that person involved.