Commuter Students: To Be Pitied or Envied?


Like my morning view, depicted above, our roads each have their own beauty.

Vesa Qosaj, Contributing Writer

At the ripe hour of six in the morning, my alarm clock sings a sweet song for me. Like many of my peers, I get up, get ready, and get to class.

However, the image that of a student rushing straight from their on-campus residence to their classroom is not accurate in my case or for many others. My morning entails a view of bright red taillights lined up in front of me, a delayed ID check from security, and another day running 15 minutes late to my 9 a.m. class.

The reality is I’m a commuter student– and like the morning I described, my feelings are conflicted regarding the matter. 

 Ever since I made my decision to attend Pace, I’ve gotten used to the blank stares and perplexed head-tilts that I have been met with upon revealing my situation.

I remember on graduation day, standing behind a classmate who blessed me with these wonderful parting words, “That’s awful, you’re going to be miserable! You’ll miss the whole college experience. I feel so sorry for you.”

I resumed the ceremony that day with a smile on my face, glad to be moving (what seemed to be) eons away from such closed-minded people. Yet, the question resurfaces as I start my first Fall semester: “Am I really so sure of my decision to commute during what are supposed to be the ‘best four years of my life?’” 


In-between classes, while making my way to find some outdoor seating, I see a campus of reminders that force me to question my decision to commute. To my right is a group of freshmen yapping about their roommates, exchanging dorm life tips, and planning to attend late-night campus events together . From thinking about what my theoretical dorm room would look like, to how many people I’d know if I attended late events, I’d ponder a life where I didn’t have a forty-minute drive separating me from my classmates.

Although, upon further inspection and speaking with other commuters, I’ve grown more confident in my decision. After all, I came to university with a focus on achieving academic success. 

As soon as I step onto campus, I am put into an academic mindset, My head is filled with questions like “What time does this class start?” or “What room was it again?”

 I love being able to remove myself from a place that relates to academics and enjoy other aspects of life in different environments. 


So, am I sure of my decision? Yes, I am. I appreciate the boundary present between my “outside” life and my academic life. While I may be subject to the opinions of others, I am indifferent in knowing that my choice has become what best caters to me. As an optimist, I relish in the upside of this time period and plan on maximizing my time as a commuter.  

 So, are we commuter students in a position to be envied, or to be pitied? After taking much time to ponder on it, I’ve decided that this question does not need an answer. I am not bound to one idea of the “college experience,” since I recognize that every college student’s experience is unique. My experience will be tailored to challenge me according to my situation and person…therefore, I am set up for an amazing, eye-opening experience in my own right.

These are not the best four years of our lives. Better yet, they are the start to our most optimal lives.  For, although this time is unique, it is only the beginning of the myriad of experiences we should stumble upon in the long run.