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HAL: Hall of Arts and Letters

To Commute or Not to Commute?

So you have made the big decision. Grove City College is for you. Time to celebrate!

But now you have another decision that you may not have anticipated. You live close enough to campus to live at home, so you have to decide whether you will move to the college and live on campus in a dorm, or if you will stay at home and make the commute to campus every day.

As someone who made that very decision, I am here to offer you some friendly (and hopefully helpful) advice. This might seem obvious (or maybe not), but it is important to know that your college experience as a commuter student would be vastly different than you experience would be if you were to live on campus. But do not let this scare you away! You are still just as much of a college student as everybody else and just as valued as a part of the Grove City College community. Your daily routine, however, will be slightly different from that of your peers.

As you know, commuter students do not have an assigned dorm room. You will live at home and drive to campus every day. There are certainly good things about this arrangement, and there are also some drawbacks, which I will get to in a second. First, you will not have to pack up ALL YOUR STUFF and cram it into a car, just to unpack it a few miles away. You might be surprised at how much less stressful this makes the beginning and ending of the academic year.

Second, the transition to college life is a little slower, and you can take it at more of your own pace – you are not just dropped of and expected to survive. 🙂 Because you do not live on campus, you can gradually spend more time there outside of your classes. A small warning though: do not spend all your free time chilling at home. Become a part of the vibrant college community!

Finally, the best things about living at home, in no particular order:

  1. No communal bathroom – this is always a plus
  2. More options for food – you can eat at one of the dining halls OR bring your own
  3. Pets! You will be the envy of all your peers because you did not have to say goodbye to your beloved dog (or cat) for 3-4 months.
  4. Did I mention the money you will save by not paying for room and board??? Yeah, that is a big one.

At this point, commuting to the Grove probably sounds like the best idea ever. But let me caution you. Do not make this decision hastily. For nearly every one of these positive reasons to live at home, there is a downside. The biggest challenge of a commuter student is building lasting friendships and community on campus. This is exponentially more difficult to do when you do not live in the same buildings and eat in the same dining halls as your peers. You might think this is not a big deal, but, I assure you, it is. This decision should not be made lightly. Take some time to consider pros and cons of each option, and most importantly, pray about it. What is right for someone else might not be right for you, and vice versa. No matter what you decide, know that we are excited to have you at Grove City College!

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