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Living on Campus vs. Being a Commuter

Cecilie Nag

You wake up past 9 a.m. and realize your class starts in 20 minutes. If you live on campus, you can get dressed and arrive to class in time. But if you are a commuter there are a couple of other factors to take into account. So, what is better – living on campus, or being a commuter?

With being walking distance to classes, dining services, the post office, the gym, and easy access to on-campus events at all times of the day, the LIU-Post residence halls are filled with dormers. The social opportunities are just a small step away, as the other dorms are filled with other students, and the Winnick dining hall often has a big crowd. But still, close to 80 percent of LIU students are commuters.

“You definitely have more freedom living off-campus,” said sophomore Journalism major, Lauren Thomas. Her friend, sophomore Alexandra Scott, disagrees. She lives in Hicksville with her parents. “In some way you have more freedoms, but in other ways you don’t,” she said, explaining how her parents’ guidelines and curfews catch up with her while living at home. But she does agree that living at home has its benefits.

Both Scott and Thomas enjoy the opportunity of eating healthier, more diverse, and affordable. “If I want to, I could go home during common hour and check what we have in the fridge,” Thomas said. She lives in East Meadow, approximately 20 minutes from campus. She drives back and forth every day, and even though the commute is stressful and demands gas money, she prefers the benefits of living at home.

Commuters have access to the school by cars, the Student Shuttle Bus, and the N20, which passes by the library a couple of times an hour. Off-campus living includes both those living together with their parents and those renting apartments – often for a lower cost than the on-campus living.

“I have my own big room, I can play music as loud as I want, and my parents appreciate me more when I am living at home,” Thomas said. She finds commuting to be annoying at times, but appreciates the benefits more than she is annoyed by her dislikes.

Elsa Klarin is a sophomore who has been living on-campus for the last two semesters. “It’s very convenient. You have everything you need just a five to ten minute walk away,” she said, explaining how she finds the dorm life to be a good experience. Klarin plays on the women’s soccer team, and has practices several times a week. “Mondays through Thursdays are the same; study, practice, drink a lot of coffee, watch some movies, and hang out with friends,” she said adding, “The weekends are more varied.” She finds campus to be boring at times, and said the advantages of being a commuter would be the opportunity of having a bigger room, a nice and cleaner bathroom, and hallway, and better interior, along with being able to vary the food a little more.

“I felt kind of trapped living on campus,” Scott said, explaining how she is more in control in her own house, “I can have it quiet when I want it to be quiet, without having to walk over to the library or somewhere else.” The two agree that the weekends especially make commuting a better choice: “Campus seems dead during the weekends,” Scott said. Also, because she lives at home, Scott has the freedom of inviting more people over. “On campus you’re only allowed to sign in two or three people to your room at a time,” she explained.

Dalae Min is a senior Broadcasting major living on-campus. She finds the advantages of living on-campus to be getting more sleep, and getting to class in just a couple of minutes. Still, she finds some disadvantages with dorm living. “During the weekends on campus there is really nothing to do,” she said, adding that she finds the location to be too far from the city and the mall.

Both commuting and on-campus living have benefits and disadvantages. A definite answer to what is better depends on what each student is more comfortable with. With these insights into what other students think, hopefully you have a better chance of deciding what suits you.

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