Being a college student isn't easy, but it's even harder when you commute to college. As a commuter student, you may find it difficult to keep abreast of important information on campus, connect with other students, and find accommodations on campus in between classes. The following tips should help you become more connected to your school.
Research commuter programs on your campus. Some colleges and universities offer programs specifically designed to help commuter students ease the anxiety of being disconnected to the campus. These programs offer services such as websites/newsletters/emails with current information for commuter students, commuter lounges, lockers, weekly gatherings for socialization, etc. You can check with your school's student services center to find out what programs are available for commuter students.
Get involved in student organizations. Just because you commute to school doesn't mean that you can't be involved in organizations and clubs on campus. Getting involved in student organizations is a great way to meet new people and form friendships with your classmates. Furthermore, by being involved in student organizations, you will become more knowledgeable about what is going on around campus and thus feel more connected to it.
Participate in intramurals. Become connected to your school and stay fit at the same time by participating in intramurals on your campus. Instead of driving back home as soon as your classes are over, you should get involved in your campus's intramural programs and meet new people. Many colleges offer student led intramural programs such as flag football, indoor soccer, basketball, volleyball, karate, dance, etc.
Form study groups. In order to become connected to your classmates, you should form study groups with them. Ask some of your peers if they would like to meet at the library or at a local coffee shop and go over class notes before a big test. You guys may even bond over the stress of the upcoming test and decide to hang out during free time.
Work on campus. Working on campus would give you more of an opportunity to meet people and start a campus network. By spending that extra time on campus, you would also be more aware of campus activities in which you could be involved.
Attend commuter forums. Many campuses hold forums specific to commuter issues. Forum topics can range from off-campus security to campus parking to balancing a commuter schedule. Attending these forums will help you with your daily tasks of being a commuter as well as allow you to meet other commuters.
Spend time in the residence halls. At some colleges and universities, commuter students are allowed to stay overnight in the campus residence halls. Some campus residence halls try to make one room available per semester for short-term overnight stays. Check with your school to see if this service is offered and what guidelines should be followed. Spending time in the residence halls will allow you to become acquainted with your classmates who live on campus.
When you just go to class and then go home, feeling a part of your college community is no easy task. By getting involved on campus and making the effort to meet new people, you will become more connected to your school and make commuting to college much more interesting.