Commuting has its pros and cons

Carolyn Fertig

Get up. Drive to Kent. Wait for a parking spot. Park the car. Hop on the bus. Get to class. Sit through class. Get out of class. Miss the bus. Finally, catch the bus. Get into the car. Drive home. Study . Repeat as needed.

That’s how a commuting student may feel on a day-to-day basis. When a student chooses to be a commuter, sacrifices must be made, Mike Stevens, a senior political science major, said.

“There is a reason why someone is a commuter; sometimes that means giving up the social part of college,” Stevens said.

Commuters often have to give up the college involvement to pursue other aspects in their daily lives and just focus on school, sophomore justice major Tiffany Noriega said.

“It’s not all about being involved, you are here to study,” she said. “If you have time and get involved, that’s great, if not, it’s not the end of the world.”

Joe Sabo, freshman paralegal studies major, said being a commuter has not hindered his college experience.

“I feel that the only social aspects that I am missing out on are the negative ones,” he said. “I want to avoid the unhealthy distractions that many college students participate in. By commuting, I am able to successfully maintain a healthy social life, a job and a full class schedule.”

College, in many eyes, is parties after parties. But sometimes it isn’t all that fun, Noriega said.

“I know a lot of people that look fondly back at the college years, the social life, the parties,” she said, “but you can find parties anywhere. You have more time to party once you’re actually working and can afford it.”

For Noriega, commuting to campus has made it difficult to maintain friendships on campus.

“I never lived on campus so I don’t have people that I have known for years to hang out with, just some people in my class,” Noriega said.

Friends are at home, and the people that are at Kent are merely acquaintances, Stevens said.

“The only friends that I have at Kent and talk to on a normal basis are the ones on my Facebook,” he said.

The payoff, they say, is in the money they save.

“Room and board is expensive,” he said. “It is so much easier to live off campus, to have a fridge full of food, compared to a food plan ‘eating out all the time.'”

Commuting has its advantages right now but didn’t months ago, Noriega said.

“Commuting does save money in some aspects, but it wasn’t great when gas was over $4 a gallon. That was not a good time for commuters and not cheap,” she said.

Buying a cheaper parking pass may be another option for commuters, Noriega said.

“I was thinking about next semester about buying a Summit East pass,” she said. “It’s farther away, and I would have to take the bus, but I have to still have to take the bus now and pay way more for that parking permit.”

Contact parking services reporter Carolyn Fertig at [email protected].