Advice for Commuter Students

Tyler Spence, Executive Editor

 Commuting is not easy. Marshall has a considerable population that I feel is not given enough advice to find success at college for their specific circumstances. As someone who commuted for their first two years of college, I can speak to the difficulty of commuting firsthand. I hope to give some advice that helped me be a part of the campus community without living as close as others.

The Essentials 

  There are some logistical challenges you will find when commuting that one normally doesn’t consider when commuting to college. If you’re like me, your school and work life are in Huntington, but your bed is somewhere else. Your home is Huntington now – here’s how you can act like it.

  Have a bag of clothes and other “go bag” materials in your car. For me, this included a spare set of contact lenses, deodorant, a toothbrush, and some other bathroom essentials. Often I would be going to class in the morning go directly to work and then hang out with friends immediately after. It’s almost impossible to wear the same outfit to all of these different social settings. Something as simple as having a few options to change into and a way to freshen up without going home will save you time and gas.

  I would act like going to campus is like getting on a plane or going for a weekend road trip. Be prepared with what you bring to save yourself some trouble.

Campus Resources 

  Make sure you are using the resources Marshall has to your advantage. East Hall is the best-kept secret for commuters on this campus – it has plenty of couches and seating as well as a kitchen with a fridge to keep food and drinks. If you’re not studying or working on homework I encourage you to not hang out in the library as much as possible. East Hall, the Student Center and the Twin Towers food court are much better places to kill time.

Make a long term plan 

  After my two years of commuting, I moved to an apartment steps away from campus, and life was made considerably easier and more enjoyable. I can’t speak for everyone’s situation – but I highly recommend not commuting all four years. Commuters on average have worse grades, are more likely to drop out and are less satisfied with their college experience. It’s also my opinion that commuting stifles your growth in becoming an independent and responsible person. The responsibility you gain living on your own cannot be overstated in my opinion. Consider becoming an RA if other forms of work to pay for an apartment are not an option for you.

In Conclusion 

  There will be days when your only class is canceled as you are parking your car or traffic makes you late. Sometimes it feels like a frustration only you are dealing with. If it begins to inhibit your education please consider your options. The money you may save commuting may not be worth damage to your education and social system. Regardless – I hope you find success in your journey here whether it’s living on campus on in your daily commute to Huntington.