Let's hear from college commuters

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Pea-n-Me, Apr 17, 2019 at 9:23 AM.

  1. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    29,978
    Did you commute to college? What were your reasons? How far did you have to travel? What do you see as the pros and cons? Would you choose to do things differently today if you had a do-over?
     
  2. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    29,978
    I commuted by choice. I'd once stayed in a dorm with my older sister and knew it wasn't for me. I was fortunate to have lots of schools around me. I went to different schools and my commute ranged from 5 to 30 mins depending on traffic, even though the distance was less than ten miles. I worked and paid my own rent and tuition expenses, etc.

    For today I think one of the most obvious pros is saving costs, but it depends if you have schools nearby (or relatively nearby) and can make it work. I do think that you can still make friends and such if you get involved in things (if that's what you want), especially at a school heavy with commuters, as schools understand commuting can be difficult and take steps to make things easier for commuting students.

    I would do the same thing today, especially given the soaring costs of a college education. I'm sure I would be motivated to keep my debt load as low as possible, but I also prefer to be on my own, away from the school, anyway.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 9:42 AM
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
    Messages:
    7,680
    I went to a few different community colleges at first (I wasn't the best teenager in the world, LOL), so I commuted. Then when I went to a 4 year college I always commuted. At first, I walked...through a VERY bad neighborhood, not the best idea but I survived. Then when I got a car I drove. Then I moved out of the city and started taking the train back and forth. Therefore the commute ranged from 1.5 miles to 15+ miles.

    For me, there really were no cons. I had no desire to be stuck in a dorm room with a stranger. I lived in a 5 bedroom rental house with friends at first, then got my own apartment. I enjoyed living with friends, and then enjoyed the privacy and flexibility living on my own afforded me. I suppose it was a con to not live right on campus and be able to roll out of bed and get to class 10 minutes later, but it was a worthwhile trade off for me.

    I definitely would do the same thing again. I was in college to get the education I needed to get the type of job I wanted so I could live the type of life I wanted. The college atmosphere/experience thing never really appealed to me.
     
    lifesavacation and Pea-n-Me like this.
  5. mamamary

    mamamary DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,120
    My dh commuted to college. Even though he lived in NYC he took his bike. The community college was approx 15 mi each way and then when he moved onto college after that it was approx 5 mi each way. I’ve never heard him wish he wasn’t a commuter student but I think he wishes he had his act a little more together because it took him more than 4 years to graduate. He had most of his college paid for by the state due to family circumstances.
     
    Pea-n-Me likes this.
  6. firefly_ris

    firefly_ris DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,211
    I already replied in the other thread, but I'll c/p it here to add to your tally...

    I commuted from a suburb north of Baltimore City to UMBC (which is right by BWI Airport) every day, sometimes twice a day, down I-95S, depending on my class schedule that semester. It was about 28 miles each way. On a well scheduled, non-rush hour time I could make it there in 30 minutes. On a poorly scheduled/bad traffic, it could sometimes take me an hour and a half. I was driving a car that no longer shifted into 4th gear, so I was also driving 70mph in 3rd gear between 4 and 5 days a week, so I was like hemorrhaging gasoline, lol - fortunately gas at the time wasn't too expensive yet. I don't regret it.
     
    lifesavacation and Pea-n-Me like this.
  7. Floridaman999

    Floridaman999 Livin' the life

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,519
    Are we considering it commuting if your parents lived in the same city as the university you attended? If so, I commuted.
     
    ronandannette likes this.
  8. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    29,978
    Yes
     
  9. Floridaman999

    Floridaman999 Livin' the life

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,519
    Okay, then I, my wife, and all of my kids are/were commuters.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 9:58 AM
  10. aprilgail

    aprilgail DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    2,832
    I commuted to college- only about 10 minutes away. I would have certainly changed that if I had to redo- going to a local college was like going to 13th grade- didn't feel any different than going to high school. I encouraged my daughter to go away for college when her time came and she is loving it and has matured so much in the 2 years already!
     
  11. lifesavacation

    lifesavacation DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Messages:
    920
    I commuted during grad school. Does that count? I was also a mother of 3 at that point. On a good day, it was a 1 hour 10 minute commute into Seattle each way. On a bad day, it was 2.5 hours.
     
    Pea-n-Me likes this.
  12. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    29,978
    Yes! How many days a week was that?
     
  13. firefly_ris

    firefly_ris DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,211
    It's funny, those traffic patterns isn't it? Can swing a commute so wildly one way or the other. One semester I had a class that was on Fridays and ended at 4:50pm. The worst possible time to end a class ever, but it was the only one offered. I remember the moment class was dismissed I would RUN to my car. I probably looked like a crazy person (though not far from the truth so, oh well). If I could make it past MLK Blvd/395 that dumped onto 95 in the city by 5:05, I was golden -- if I was even 5 or 6 minutes later than that I wouldn't make it home until 7pm.
     
    lifesavacation likes this.
  14. lifesavacation

    lifesavacation DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Messages:
    920
    5 days a week for 2 years. My husband worked nights and then watched the kids while I was on campus.

    Not every person who is on a college campus is right out of high school :)
     
  15. firefly_ris

    firefly_ris DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,211
    Excellent work!!!!!
     
    Pea-n-Me likes this.
  16. Boardwalk Jedi

    Boardwalk Jedi Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    Messages:
    470
    Not as an undergrad. As an adult, I went to CC for prereqs for a graduate degree. I have so much respect for commuters. Parking was such an issue at the beginning of the semester that I could see people saying "forget this" just trying to park for an 11:00 AM class. Add to that weather issues, distance, ... like I said, respect!
     
    Pea-n-Me likes this.
  17. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Messages:
    29,978
    Wow, that was devotion! Good for you!
     
  18. lifesavacation

    lifesavacation DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Messages:
    920
    I loved every minute of it actually. My kids were little and getting out of the house and doing something just for me felt wonderful and empowering.
     
    Searc, firefly_ris and Pea-n-Me like this.
  19. mamamary

    mamamary DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,120
    My son was a commuter student for two years while in community college. His drive to school - on average 15 minutes each way. He’s in a 4 year college now living 3 hours from home and it really matured him. I wish he went there first but he was so wishy washy about school that we figured we’d let Him go local in case he decided school wasn’t for him. He is also on the deans list so his grades even improved.
     
    Pea-n-Me likes this.
  20. SteveH

    SteveH Earning my Mai Tai

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 1999
    Messages:
    1,499
    I chose to stay at home for college. I did two years at the community college, and when I transferred to the University I figured why should I move out just to say I was "on my own". I got along very well with my mom, it saved a lot of money and allowed my mom and I to deepen our relationship. The department I was getting my degree was in the top 10 nationwide so it just made sense. Every Friday night my mom would fix dinner for some of my friends and I, those living in the dorms or off camping run down houses appreciate it and my mom did too. I left school with under $5000 in student loans. Zero regrets.

    I ended up getting asked to return to the University to work on my Masters and run a program. I lived with my Dad, but that didn't go as well. I do wish I'd not lived with him, but that's water under the bridge.

    Both my kids left for college, dorms at first. Youngest needed to come home so he's doing the community college commute and doing fine. I know he's anxious to move out again, hopefully this time he's in a better position for the rigors of college.
     
    Pea-n-Me likes this.
  21. Wendy31

    Wendy31 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,819
    Both DH & I commuted.

    I first attended our local community college, & the commute was about 15ish minutes. After I graduated from there, I transferred to our local public university, &, depending on traffic, the commute was 20-25 minutes. DH lived a little closer to the university, & his commute was about 15 minutes.

    I had scholarship offers to several different colleges & universities, but I was really shy & didn't like the idea of a dorm. I was actually pre-enrolled through a scholarship at a private liberal arts college, but, over the summer prior to my freshman year, I volunteered at a kids' camp at the community college. I decided I liked the campus & wanted to stay home. Additionally, w/ my scholarship plus a tuition discount since my mom worked at the community college, I ended up actually getting a check each semester - I was getting paid to attend the community college, even after purchasing my textbooks.

    However, while I loved our community college, I HATED our local public university & never felt like I meshed well or found my niche. Going from the community college to the university as a junior was like reliving freshman year all over again - but, instead of having other freshman around me, I was taking junior level classes w/ other students who had been there for 3 years & had already found their places within the university, if that makes sense.

    I think, for some people, transferring from a community college to a 4 year institution works just fine - I wasn't one of those people, however! LOL!

    So, based on my experience, I've told our kids that, unless they're only wanting an actual 2 year degree & have no plans to continue for a 4 year degree, they should find a 4 year college or university & enroll as a freshman.

    Our DD is currently attending a private liberal arts college & commutes. Her commute is about 45 minutes each way. Our older DS is a senior in high school & thinks he wants to attend the same college that DD is attending. While I think the college is exactly right for DD, I'm worrying a bit about DS. I would love for them to be at the same college & be on the same schedule, but I just don't have the same peace about it for DS as I had for DD.
     
    Pea-n-Me likes this.

Share This Page