Okay, so you’ve been accepted to college. You’ve figured out which major suits your fancy and which classes sound the best to you. You even have all your new back to school clothes bought. Now you just need to figure out where on campus you’ll be living. What’s that? You’re commuting? Bummer.

Commuting isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to college life. Most people might think that living on campus is the only way to get involved, make friends and just enjoy your time at college. Most people would be wrong. I am now a junior and I’ve been commuting for over two years. At first, the half hour commute to class everyday was daunting and discouraging. How would I get to know anyone? What if I could use this extra hour commuting every day for studying instead? Wouldn’t that be better?  Difficult as it may be, commuting has its own pros and cons that I am grateful for coming to learn.

I now know for a fact that I wouldn’t utilize that extra hour everyday any better than I do now. One of my biggest challenges as a commuter was finding appropriate times and locations to study or do other class related activities. This stems mostly from the drastic change in environments I find myself in at home and on campus. I associate campus with class, writing papers and studying. Getting work done on campus is easier because of this. I associate my home with family, relaxing and doing what I want to do. By virtue of my inherently lazy, sloth-like nature, classwork is not something that I want to do. I constantly struggle to get work done here probably because I would rather be playing video games, and the computers on campus aren’t fast enough to run any video games. My personal computer in my room at home, however, is most definitely fast enough.

I have been in the middle of this struggle for over two years. As a commuter, I strongly recommend staying on campus after your classes for at least an extra hour each day. I know what you’re thinking. Why would I stay at school for longer than I need to when I can go home, put on my PJs and binge watch Netflix? Well, it’s simple. I’ve basically laid it out for you in the previous paragraph. You will get more work done. There are less things to distract you from your studying if you find a quiet spot in the Power Room in Waldron or an unreserved computer lab. As long as you refrain from opening Facebook or watching YouTube in those computer labs, these are prime studying spots.

As long as you commit yourself to staying on campus for just a little longer each day, you will get more work done. Eventually, you will form a habit of this and staying to study will just be something you do rather than an inconvenience. Of course, staying focused at home isn’t that hard for everyone, but it can’t hurt to try and do all you can to set yourself up for success.