There are plenty of ways to attend college these days thanks to the advancement of technology. While "dorming" or staying on campus is an option for many, some of us may find that living off-campus is a much better arrangement. This would in turn make you a commuter. While commuting comes with it's benefits such as lessening the costs of college it can make the college going experience a bit more difficult. Feeling disconnected from campus life is a concern among most commuters. So, the challenge becomes, what can one do to make the experience a more enjoyable one?
First off remember why you're a commuter to begin with. Whether it is because of circumstances beyond your control or not, try not to get down on yourself. The importance of getting your education brought you to this point so keep that in mind. With that being said we all make time for the things that are most important to us. If you're feeling disconnected as a commuter a solution to that is taking carving out more time to actually be on campus. You can spend your time doing basic things that won't feel like you're hanging around for no apparent reason. Instead of leaving out right after a class, stick around to grab your self some food or to work on an assignment. Try not to confine yourself to a corner in the library. Instead, sit in a more communal area such as the cafe or coffee shop. That way you'll be able to see faces, feel the hustle and bustle, and get more of that "college-vibe."
Stepping out of our comfort zones, though scary, can yield a lot of great experiences. We don't know until we try and we shouldn't give up after one attempt. Meeting people, especially other students who actually live in dorms can help you stay up to date on events. Start with someone in your class. Take down the contact information of a classmate so that you can always have someone to talk to about the coursework. That simple connection can pave the way to a budding friendship.
It may be worth your while to stay up to date with your student email. There you'll get updates on what's happening. Even if you don't attend every single event on campus, you could make time for the larger things like homecoming. Bring at least one friend along with you to ease the nervousness around getting out there. In addition to keeping up with your emails, connect with your school and clubs that you're interested in on social media. You're more likely to get real-time updates from the student-run pages of those clubs.
A good amount of your experience depends on what you're willing to do. Put effort into getting yourself out there in small ways so that you're not overwhelmed by how uncomfortable it may be. It's your college experience and you have to make the best of what you've got.
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