I love being a commuter. Every day, I have to take the Market-Frankford line to Drexel, and it is one of the most peaceful experiences. I commute from North Philly, so it takes me about an hour or so to get to campus, but it’s one of my favorite moments in my day. I find an open seat next to the window, pop on my headphones, and stare out the window into the city landscape. Well, until the train goes underground.
It’s great seeing the Delaware River’s water sparkling in the sunlight, the Ben Franklin Bridge in contrast with the clear blue sky, the Liberty Place building reaching towards the sun, and all while listening to some great tunes. That’s my time to relax my mind, forget about thinking, and enjoy nature (even if it is man-made).
I really do love commuting, BUT it definitely has its drawbacks. For one, if you’re like me, you lose up to two hours a day just commuting. I’ve found that I can’t concentrate on any of my homework while I’m on the train. Sometimes the trains are packed and too noisy to even think correctly.
The second drawback is that you lose the opportunity to experience campus life. I lived on campus my first year, so I know that there’s always something going on. But when you’re a commuter, sometimes you can’t make it to certain events. I’ve had classes where I was required to go to an event at night. It tends to be hard because by the time the event is over, it’s pretty late. I hate getting home late. It throws me off. I already have my schedule set for when I get home; shower, eat, and do my work for the next day. There have been times where I had to leave early from an event just because of the time it takes me to get back home.
Your participation in campus life is definitely affected when you’re a commuter. There are also expenses, like paying for transposes or gas and parking, and having to bring money to buy food if you don’t pack a lunch. Being a commuter has its ups and downs, much like everything else, but, for me at least, it’s worth it.