Top 5 Perks of Commuting to College

Commuting to college may sound like a major pain in the rump for many students. College is about moving out of your parents’ house, living on your own and getting the full college experience.

Most high school seniors don’t think of living at home and commuting to college as an option. However, there are many situations where commuting from home is fully possible and with the strained economy nowadays it’s an option that should not be overlooked.

I have done it for 3 years, and I’m still very happy I chose commuting. I also know a ton of others who commute as well. I had the option of living at home and taking the train for classes. If you have that option too, you should surely consider it.

Here are the top 5 perks of commuting to college:

Perk #1 – Time to Work On Homework

This is probably the number one perk if you take the train or bus to school. I have found that my time on the train happens to be when I am most productive. The train is usually pretty quiet allowing for a great period of concentration. You can easily bring your laptop to write papers, your books to do reading assignments and any other materials you need to get the homework rolling.

Reading on the train is my favorite. Since you can usually expect large amounts of reading in college, no matter the major, the train is the perfect time to do it. On the train or bus you are much less likely to be distracted by friends, roommates, the television or the internet. Especially if the commute is longer, it’s essential you spend that time wisely. Unfortunately, if your commute consists of driving this perk won’t do you much good.

Perk #2 – A Moment of Relaxation

Chances are that doing homework is not the only thing you will do or want to do on the train or bus. Take this time to relax, listen to music, read a good book, or even browse Facebook if you want to. If you have a smartphone, then you are always open to endless possibilities and the commute should never get boring. Take advantage of that.

I always try to divide my commute up between days. Some days I will use the commute to work on homework or get a reading assignment done. Other days I will listen to music and browse the web. Oftentimes I will spend the ride into the city doing one thing and the ride home doing something else. The commute is also a great time to relieve some stress, and time to relax is a great medicine for college stress.

Perk #3 – More Time with Family & Friends

While the above perks have to do with being on the actual commute, the next couple perks have to do with what you gain from choosing to commute. One of my favorite parts of commuting was being able to continue to spend time with my family. My family has always been one of the most important aspects in my life, and the idea of spending a few more years living with them made me extremely happy. I also got to stay home with my 4 dogs who have always been there for me. I knew one day that I would move on, but I was happy that it would be at the end or after college.

The other positive to being at home was I was able to see friends still. I had a couple of friends who didn’t go away to big universities right away and stayed around town at community colleges. This was something I truly cherished. Leaving high school doesn’t have to equal leaving home. You have a whole life ahead of you to be completely independent.

Perk #4 – Home Cooked Meals

The title says it all.

Going to live in a dorm? Say goodbye to home cooked meals! Alright, so this one is kind of a joke, but I do love the idea that I can still sit at home and eat dinner with my parents.

Perk #5 – Save Money

This was the number one reason I decided to commute. I knew out of high school there was no way I would be able to afford to live in Chicago without my parents’ help. Unfortunately, like many other families, mine too was harshly effected by the downfall of the economy. I knew that my parents couldn’t do much, and there was no way I was going to expect them to pay for a dorm/apartment and all of my living expenses. They had their own house payments and bills to pay for. Commuting does cut the expenses quite extensively. The cost of commuting can add up, but not nearly as much as the cost of living at school.

Commuting definitely has its challenges, and it surely is not for everyone. However, I think it is important that everyone knows it can be an option and there are many positives attached to it. Also keep in mind that you don’t have to commute every year you are in school. Cut it in half, take the experiences out of both situations.

Here’s my advice: If you are in the situation where commuting is an option, consider it. If you get along, even in the slightest, with your parents and they are happy to keep you around a couple more years take advantage of their offer. In the long run you may be doing them and yourself a favor.

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Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman is a senior at DePaul University working toward an English degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing. She also has a minor in Digital Cinema. Molly especially enjoys spending time with loved ones, listening to music, watching movies/television and playing with her dogs. She also has a passion for antiques, crafts, animals, photography and the great outdoors.