Commuters share mixed feelings on going the extra mile

Ashley Purnell

With only about 6,700 students living on Kent State’s campus, the majority of the student body is commuters.

Students can commute to campus as long as they live within a 50-mile radius, meaning some students’ commutes can be upward of one hour or even more. 

Tthose who choose to make the long drive to campus instead of living in Kent have mixed feelings toward their long commute. 

“I really wanted to commute to campus my first year here before I committed to living here,” said Gabrielle Woods, a junior journalism major. 

Woods commutes from Cleveland twice a week, which is 40 minutes each way. She attended community college her first two years and then transferred to Kent State because she loved the location and the journalism program. 

“I only spend about $30 on gas a week, and it really is not about the money for me,” Woods said. “I just want to make sure I am comfortable with campus before I decide to maybe move here.”

For some, the choice to commute is about living costs like rent and groceries.

“It is expensive to live off campus, so I would just rather pay for the gas every week,” said Kaitlyn Mazzola, a junior speech pathology and audiology major. 

Mazzola commutes from Cleveland, Monday through Friday.

“I feel like I save so much more money by just living at home,” Mazzola said. “And the best part is I get to be with my family all the time.”

Commuting from a far distance does come with negatives, such as potential for bad weather, traffic or even car troubles. These are problems commuters often find themselves working around when making their long trip to campus. 

“I always tell commuters to just give themselves some extra time in the morning because you never know what will happen,” said Rebecca Kapler, the assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement. 

Kapler noted 80 percent of the student body are commuters, and even though some of that amount live in the off-campus housing, many of them do commute from a far distance. 

“When you’re traveling so far, roadblocks can happen randomly and it can make me late to class, which I don’t like,” Woods said.

Another big problem Woods noted is having to spend all day on campus and having large gaps in between classes. However, she and other commuters would rather schedule classes all on a few days rather than attending every day.

Mazolla, who has to come to campus five days a week this semester, said the drive is the worst part.

Woods, on the other hand, enjoys her morning drive, and said it helps her wake up for class because she listens to music and focuses on the road. 

“Even though driving to campus can suck, commuting is a much better option for me because I know I am saving money and it lets me have a life at home and on the campus,” Mazolla said.

Ashley Purnell is the commuters and apartment life reporter. Contact her [email protected].