Experiences Living on Campus vs. Commuting from College Students

By Diana Kesablyan

College is both an exciting and frightening new chapter of life for those who wish to continue their education after high school. For many, this requires living in a dorm or even attending a school that is far away from home. As a result, many of our seniors this year are preparing to move. Whether it be ten minutes away, five hours away, or across the country, this is a major change in the lives of young adults. 

As such, many students debate which is the better option, living on campus or commuting to school. Students may not feel ready to be all on their own, and they may miss their homes and families. However, both living on campus and commuting to school have benefits. 

Firstly, many argue that commuting from home takes away from the college experience, and is a huge struggle.

“My biggest issue with having to drive to USC for class is the traffic and parking. It always takes me around an hour to get to school with traffic, and I usually park sort of far from school, so I have to leave the house super early. I think not living on campus also took away from my freshman experience, but that was also partly due to the pandemic,” third year USC student Harout Danielyan said. 

However, commuting to campus is oftentimes the more affordable option. College is an extremely expensive investment in a young adult’s life. 

“I really like that I don’t have to pay for housing and food, and I have someone to do my laundry. I think that really outweighs the negatives of living off campus, as that is a big priority for many students,” Danielyan said. 

Living on campus is pricey, which proves to be a major detractor for those considering the option. Additionally, some students may struggle with the newfound independence they hold. 

“Though I don’t technically live on campus, I am right across the street from it. I do always miss home cooking and having family around, but I am lucky enough to be only a short car ride away from home. However being a busy student means I don’t always have time to visit home. It does get expensive, and it is a lot of responsibility, and so I totally understand why some may not want to go down this path,” UCLA senior David Kesablyan said. 

On the other hand, living on campus allows many opportunities that would not be as accessible for a commuter. For example, students living on campus have more access to schoolwide facilities, and are able to better connect with other students and the campus community. 

“I love living here because it allows me to really get to know my school. I get to sleep in sometimes, and I am never late to my morning classes. It also allows me to fully utilize the gym, which is a big priority for me. Meeting students who share similar interests as me has been a plus too. Missing my family is tough, but I must admit that the freedom and independence I gain from living on my own is super refreshing, and I really enjoy it,” Kesablyan said. 

Although both options provide their own advantages and disadvantages, it is dependent on the situation of the student, both emotional and financial. Regardless of where a student chooses to live, the college experience will be both beneficial and rewarding if you put in the work.