By Elisia Acosta
You commute? Is it hard? Do you like it? Do you wish you lived on campus?
These are the most common questions I receive after I tell people I’m a commuter. As a native Hamden resident, my life as a commuter student began the day I attended orientation the summer before my freshman year. I remember feeling nervous because I knew pretty much every other freshman would be living on campus, and I wouldn’t be able to join in the imminent discussions of roommates and housing arrangements.
To my surprise, it turned out that one of my OLs was a commuter just like me, and that instantly made me realize that I had nothing to worry about. My OL was a friendly, well-adjusted and involved student who also happened to commute. Seeing how happy she was at Quinnipiac made me realize that your success here doesn’t depend on whether you live on campus or not; it depends on your attitude, what you hope to get out of your college experience and how you use the opportunities offered to achieve your goals.
When I tell people I commute, they usually assume I must hate it because I have to deal with parking every day, and while I’ll admit Quinnipiac’s parking situation is definitely way more stressful than it needs to be, I don’t actually have to deal with it as much because I don’t have my own car yet. Yes, it would be nice to have my own car, but I don’t really need it right now for any reason other than being able to say I have my own car. Most days, I get dropped off at school in the morning and picked up after my last class.
A lot of people can’t believe I commute without having my own car. Take it from me: it’s possible, but only with the help of a mother as amazing as mine. She not only drives me back and forth every day, but my four other siblings to school as well.
One of the biggest challenges as a commuter student is staying involved on campus. Unlike dorm students, the majority of my time during the day is not spent here, but at home. Sophomore year, I decided to join the Summit Yearbook Staff as a way to spend more time on campus. As a staff writer, my job involves attending various campus events during the academic year and interviewing students. In this way, I have been able to have many on-campus experiences and meet a lot more people than I would have otherwise. I also try to attend different events to gain a variety of experiences, such as hockey games, guest speakers and the fall and spring concerts.
Commuting has its challenges, like hoping that you get a good locker location when you register for one, but it also has its benefits, like not having to deal with roommate drama (and I heard a lot about that freshman year!).
Despite the challenges, I have had an amazing past two years here. I am very much the type of person who counts her blessings, and I feel very fortunate just to be able to go to Quinnipiac. It’s a fantastic school, one that has given me the opportunity to pursue my career goal as an elementary teacher after being accepted to Quinnipiac’s MAT program. I’m so grateful that I get to come to this beautiful campus every day, meet new people and study what I love. Even though I don’t live on campus, I still and always will consider Quinnipiac to be my second home.