When I first found out I would be a commuter my freshman year of college, you can bet that I was hugely disappointed. As someone who thrives off of social interaction, it was a depressing idea that I would be stuck at home for possibly my entire college experience.
All of my friends were headed off to college. I watched them all leave to pursue new opportunities and new living arrangements while I was stuck exactly where I left off.
I felt alone.
There was one saving grace that drove me out of my rut and that was the Communications Learning Community (LC) at Cabrini. Considering I had multiple classes with these people, it was easier for me to grow closer with them and develop more of a connection.
I decided I was already at a disadvantage by commuting, so I decided to try everything in my power to try to subvert the commuter stereotype. I increased my involvement in campus activities and worked on strengthening my connections with other students.
I joined stage crew, photography club, applied to be an orientation leader and generally tried to spend a lot more time on campus. Of course, I would not have been able to become as successful in my endeavors without the help of my three very best friends.
They taught me what true friendship really is and always treated me like any other college student, whether I was a resident or not. They always included me in activities and would even allow me to stay over whenever I was too tired to drive home.
One year later, people do not even realize I am a commuter. People come up to me all the time and say, “You are a commuter? I could have sworn you lived on campus.”
I now realize that the stereotype of being a commuter is irrelevant, as it does not matter if you are a residential student or not. You can be just as active, if not more active, as a commuter if you simply keep finding different ways to get involved and put yourself out there.
Most importantly, though, I have learned to not underestimate myself. I felt as though I was incapable of making friends last year and now I could not be happier with the friendships I have made and the impact I have had on others, as well as on the school.
My college experience was in my hands the entire time and despite the fact that I was not able to experience college in its fullest potential firsthand, I still have had a terrific time at Cabrini by choosing my own path and finding myself along the way.