Four Steps to Commuting and Feeling Connected - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life
October 20, 2015

Four Steps to Commuting and Feeling Connected

Commuting can be hard at times. You go to the school, but at first you may feel a little out of touch with everyone who stays on campus. If you feel like this, I have good news; it doesn’t have to be this way! You can still be a part of the community while commuting! Here are four helpful things to keep in mind as a commuter.

1. You’re Not the Only One!

At times you have probably felt you are the only one that commutes. Everyone else lives on campus. Everyone else has a roommate. Everyone else goes back to their rooms between classes. Although it may seem this way, this is simply not the case. There are plenty of other people doing the same thing you are! About 25% of students attending Geneva commute. That means that plenty of students do not live on campus and are probably feeling the same way you are. That is a lot of people! There is even an entire group—Geneva College Commuter Life—whose purpose is to form a collective group of commuters and help them connect.

2. You’re Not an Outsider!  

Another common feeling among commuters is somewhat of an “outsider” persona. Other people have their groups of friends they hang out with every day, people that live in their same hall, and so on. Then here you come as the odd person out intruding on their exclusive “we live on campus” circle. This is yet another unwarranted feeling. You are a student at Geneva, you are not an outsider. There is no reason to feel like you don’t belong. People are probably relieved when you come to give them a break from their roommate they see every day (just kidding everyone at Geneva loves their roommates).

3. Get Involved!

One thing that cannot be stressed enough is to get involved! Go to Cokes and Connections and sign up for clubs on campus. Join an intramural sports team. Go to sports games. Sign up for a job or internship on campus. There are countless opportunities to become involved; it just takes some initiative on your part to actually do them. Getting involved will help you meet people that share common interests. It will also assist with doing away with any “outsider” or “I’m all alone” feelings.

4. Use The Campus!

This is so important! As a commuter you will often find yourself wandering around in between classes, trying to look like you’re busy but really just trying to waste time. Maybe your friends are all in class or busy and you’re just waiting around for your next thing. The campus is here, so use it! Skye Lounge is an awesome resource. It is a great place to either study, or just hang out. You can also get a locker there through the Student Development Center. Right next to that, by the bathrooms, is a fridge if you want to bring food or drinks. This way you have a place to keep your things so you don’t have to either carry around 50 bags, or walk back and forth between the school and your car all day. The fitness center is another great resource to use. Also, in the lowest level of the student center, is a rock climbing wall just sitting there waiting to be used. Go to the library, read and study. Make sure your laptop is hooked up to the Wi Fi through the tech center and use your laptop during your downtime. Go down to the track and run (or, if you’re like me, by run I mean walk, get tired, and then go eat). While you may not sleep on campus, at least not on a bed in a dorm room, you are still able to make it feel like home while you are here.

You can still have the college experience! These experiences are available whether you live on campus, live off campus, live five minutes away, live an hour away, transferred, or started here as a freshman. Some who commute will often face college with the mentality that they are detached and are just going to go in, get an education, and get out. But don’t feel like you are excluded from any opportunity just because you commute. Commuting and community are not mutually exclusive terms; you can commute and still easily be a part of the Geneva community.

—Kelsey Robinson '17


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