The Commuter Hunt - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life
January 16, 2017

The Commuter Hunt

They are a minority, an extension to the fold. Flitting from class to home to work, the commuter lives a life that is slightly unusual, a mystery to be sure. Although they are sometimes elusive, there are ways to find these unique individuals. After you locate them, who knows what you could learn and experience?  So, the hunt begins! Here are 7 ways to distinguish the commuters on campus:

  1. Smiles All Around

It is freshman move-in day. Parents and children fill the lawn when the announcement is made: “All parents must say goodbye to their children at this time.” With tears streaming down both your faces, you and your mother embrace. Those on the grass, who are not crying, wear downcast looks as they say farewell.  Beholding this bittersweet sight, your eye suddenly catches a flash of white.  Someone is smiling. The wearer, who is laughing, does not even hug their parents.  Why are they not crying? Don’t they love their parents? Over the wind, you catch the last words of their conversation, “See you for dinner!” With envy, you realize you have encountered your first commuter.    

  1. The Rumbles

While studying in the library after lunch, you hear a slight rumble, disrupting the peace and quiet. Ignoring it, you continue your work.  About 10 minutes later, a louder rumble ensues, echoing through the room and vibrating the computer monitors. As you turn around, you catch sight of what you have been looking for… a commuter, hungry and meal-plan-deprived. Those growling tummies are a dead giveaway.

  1. Jeans… in the Gym?

After class, you stop at your room, make a quick change of clothes, and head to the gym. Sitting down on the stationary bicycle, you glance around. As your gaze falls on the treadmill, you focus on the beads of sweat streaming down the users face. Even though they are only walking, they are sweating profusely. Why? They are wearing jeans, boots, and a sweater. Bingo! You found another commuter; this one unfortunately forgot their change of clothes at home.

  1. Loaded

Briskly, you step into the cold air. Up ahead, you perceive a figure, tiny but large at the same time. How can that be? Drawing closer, you identify a small-framed student with a backpack twice her size. Not only that, but she is toting a lunch bag and a purse to boot. After offering to carry some items, you ask her the reason behind her heavy load. She then reveals the truth of her commuter identity. In return for your help, she invites you to join her and her family at church the following Sunday, even offering the transportation you have been looking for.

  1. Sleepover Expert

While waiting for class to begin, a fellow classmate enters the room. It is 8 a.m., but they look like a million bucks. Two days later, they walk in again, but unlike before, their clothes appear a bit wrinkled yet seemingly familiar. To your amusement, you realize that they are wearing the same exact outfit. Putting two and two together, you know this commuter hasn’t been home for quite some time.

  1. Wearing Rain Boots! But Where’s the Rain?

It’s a bright sunny afternoon, quite different from the dreary morning. In sandals and shorts, you head from the dining hall with ice cream in hand. Suddenly, you hear a loud squeak, whip around to discern the source, bump into the person behind you, and spill half of your cone on their shoes. With horror, you apologize deeply for ruining their footwear until you notice…they are wearing rain boots...on a sunny afternoon. You know that this must be a commuter who was deceived by the dreary morning weather. Who knew that the wrong choice in foot apparel would be the right solution to a messy situation?

  1. Meal Swipe Recycler

It is finals week and you’re starving.  Hurrying into the dining hall, you are taken aback when you see the multitude. The room is packed. Many faces are recognizable, but quite a few are rather unfamiliar. Where did all of these new students come from? Instantly, you remember the 50 extra meal swipes you donated last week. Gleefully, you join a table of unfamiliar faces, overjoyed to find the commuter jackpot.

The commuters have been found, and the hunt is complete! It isn’t too difficult to find these rare individuals if you know what to look for. Once they are found, a world of experiences and opportunities could open up. You may learn the area’s history, visit remote out-of-the-way places, try the best restaurants (and avoid the worst), go to fun extracurricular events, eat a home-cooked meal, spend time with a family (even if it is not your own), find a new church, and make a life-long friend. So, forge ahead, open your eyes wide, keep your ears alert, and start the hunt! Who knows what friendships lie around the bend?

Geneva provides an array of services for commuters, and details are at geneva.edu/student-life/commuter-life. There is even an active Commuter Club at Geneva, which gathers for events, fun and information. You can check out the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1691352151188039/.

-Olivia Forton ‘19 is a commuter student at Geneva College.