Kendra Dascano: A Commuter’s Connection to Pace


Katie Walsh

Sophomore Kendra Dascano may spend a chunk of her time during the week driving, but she doesn’t;t let it interfere with her ability to get involved on campus.

At least four times a week, sophomore Kendra Dascano spends 90 minutes in the car. 45 minutes on the way to and from classes. Dascano is one of many commuters on the Pleasantville campus. 

Despite the long-distance commute and extensive travel time, Dascano still finds a way to maintain connected to Pace’s campus and create a balanced college life for herself. The sophomore is double-majoring in Applied Psychology and Human Relations and Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.

She was able to divulge herself into campus activities before her freshman year started. She always knew being involved was something she wanted to continue from high school into her college years.

“Even though I commute, my plan was never to be one of those students who just go to class and go home, ” Dascano said.  

A key element to her involvement on campus and her ability to socially connect with other Pace students was through joining the Setters’ Leadership program. Before her freshman year began, Dascano along with other students, went on a leadership retreat. Thus, allowed Dascano to create connections with other Pace students right from the start of her college career.

In addition, the sophomore found other ways to be involved through the Pforzheimer Honors College, the Lubin Business Association and she participated in various volunteer opportunities. She served on the committee in the spring for the Women’s Leadership Conference and volunteered for various events like move-in day and Pace Makes a Difference Day. She is also a member of the Lambda Sigma Honors Society for Sophomores. 

Moreover, she is a peer-leader for a section of University 101 and uses her commuter status as a way to comfort and help other freshman who are also commuters. She encourages them to find ways to be a part of the Pace community, even though they may not be living in the dorms with the other students.

Dascano says she would never consider living on campus because she enjoys the balance of being on campus as much as she wants, but also still being able to go home to relax and study. Despite this, the decision she initially made to commute prior to freshman year was a challenging one. 

“I was on the fence about it because I was worried socially like, ‘am I going to make friends as a commuter? Like, are people going to want to talk to me ? Are they just going to think I’m never going to be on campus, so they won’t bother.’ But that wasn’t the experience I had at all,” Dascano said. 

Even though she would not change her decision of being a commuter, there are some challenges and annoyances that can come with it. She struggles the most with late night meetings and events on campus. One thing the setter is currently debating on is whether or not to join a greek life organization. The  late night chapter meetings and events are keeping her in question.

“A lot of their events are at night, so I guess I’m like staying a lot later, which is doable, but it’s not always so convenient,” Dascano said. “Like, Colleges Against Cancer I support and go to their events, but I do not stay until 9 p.m. to go to their meetings.”

This can also correlate into creating schedules for the next semester. For example, it can be inconvenient to drive 90 minutes for an hour and a half class and so forth. Some days, she has long breaks in-between her classes, but she manages her time wisely and utilizes it to do homework, attend meetings and catch-up with friends on campus. Additionally, as she gets further into her academic experiences at Pace, the courses are more intriguing and make the stay worthwhile. 

Dascano made sure to utilize her time management skills and motivated persona to her advantage, in order to create that balanced college life. She also gives herself extra time before leaving for classes in case she runs into traffic, that way the fact she is commuting doesn’t interfere with her academic courses. 

“Make sure you stay connected… You can definitely have a well-rounded college experience as a commuter if you push yourself to meet people and get involved and attend club events,” Dascano advised. “It’s also a good way to build your resume.”