As if being a full-time college student wasn’t hard enough, life as an ENC commuter has already begun showing me the unique challenges of not living on campus.
Being a commuter driving an ancient car with a mind of its own can be interesting, to say the least. I don’t get to just roll out of bed 5 minutes before class; in fact most commuters spend at least 30 minutes traveling before class.
I don’t have a mentor who lives on the same floor as I. My daily commute prohibits my involvement, because I simply don’t have the freedom of time.
There are the discount lunch days in the cafeteria so I can sit with friends, and the free lockers, but it’s not the same. I can’t pop into the Dining Hall for a soda with my class, or spend an evening lounging about doing homework with my roommate.
Besides a feeling of missing out, commuters have to deal with traffic jams, service delays on the MBTA, car trouble, construction, crowded trains, and the infamous New England snow.
If you think your walk to Gardner is tough, try driving your car to class when you can’t see past 14 inches of white dust.
In 2014, Ami Sedghi and George Arnett of The Guardian wrote that “commuters are more likely to be anxious, dissatisfied, and have the sense that their daily activities lack meaning than those who don’t have to travel.”
I can see why Sedghi and Arnett would make this argument, considering the fact that much of a commuter’s time is spent traveling and having to deal with the inevitable problems that come with it, instead of simply enjoying the college experience.
We need to actively try to attend events and reach out, even if it requires more effort than our resident counterparts.