If you’re looking to start college, then you might have come across the phrase “commuter school” and have no idea what the term means.
Though the concept itself is pretty easy to understand, there is still a lot that you need to know before committing to a commuting school.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through what a commuter school is, and we will also weigh up the pros and cons.
Let’s get into it.
What Is A Commuter School?
A commuter school or college is a college to which the students commute to their classes rather than living on campus.
This would allow the student to either continue living at home or to live somewhere away from the campus and attend college only when their classes require them to.
There are so many reasons that someone might consider or otherwise find it necessary to attend a commuter college.
There are definitely a lot of pros to attending a college like this; however, it’s not without its drawbacks as well.
Let’s learn more about what a commuter college is and whether you should or should not think about applying to one.
First of all, let’s look at the benefits of attending a commuter school.
The first and most important benefit is the fact that you would be able to continue to live at home with your parents if you attended a commuter college.
This could be necessary because of your own health or the health and commitments that you have for your parents or family.
For example, if you were a young carer, a commuter college would allow you to stay home and care for your family members whilst also attending classes.
Or if you yourself had a particular care routine, a commuter college could be a lot more suitable than adjusting to living on your own on campus.
Another important pro to attending a commuter school is the financial aspect.
You wouldn’t need to adjust to buying your own groceries or sorting out your housing costs, you would be able to continue living the same way you did in high school.
You wouldn’t have to figure out a new laundry machine or move all of your belongings to a new place – which is super convenient.
You will still be able to rely on the same support network, but granted, this could change if a lot of your friends choose to move away to college; however, the friends who stay will still be around.
If you have a job or other prior commitments like a band or performance group that you’re a part of, a commuter’s college would also allow you to continue being a part of these, rather than having to find a whole new job or group that you can join.
Overall, the word that comes to mind when considering the benefits of attending a commuter school is convenience.
You don’t have to change your routine or get used to a new and potentially scary place if you’re able to go to a commuter school.
That said, most of these benefits can be turned on their head and come with negatives as well.
Whilst the convenience of staying in the same house and not having to learn any new machines or figure out new finances, there’s a lot to be said for the skills that you learn when thrust into new situations like this.
A con of staying at home is that you don’t get the same opportunities to grow up and take on more responsibility when it comes to household chores.
A lot of people see college as a great stepping stone to living on your own or with roommates once you’ve finished college, and attending a commuter college could leave you missing out on that.
Another thing that you could potentially miss out on is the social aspect of college.
Everyone knows that one of the main reasons you go to college is to meet new people and make dumb social mistakes. These are a lot more difficult to make when you’re still living under your parent’s roof.
A lot of lifelong friendships are formed in college, and whilst you will absolutely still be able to make great friends, you won’t have the same opportunities to experience college life together if you’re going to a commuter school.
Is Commuter School Right For Me?
The only way to answer this is to really look inside yourself.
Not everybody is ready to leave home by the time they reach an age where they are ready to attend college.
Sometimes, you still need to stay home and nurture yourself a little longer before you’re ready to take that step, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Other people might not have the ability, physically, mentally, or financially, to move away to a college, potentially even out of state.
In that case, a commuter college is a fantastic way to continue your education and meet new people without having to sacrifice your health, money, or time with family.
If you’re really not sure, then you need to remember that there’s always the opportunity to transfer later in the year.
You could attend a commuter school for a while and build your grades and your confidence with college-level work from the security of your own home.
All the while knowing that at any point, you can make the decision to transfer to a college where you can live on campus.
There is no hierarchy to the different types of college – if you don’t think you would be able to live on campus at college, then you shouldn’t force yourself just to feel like you’re getting the real college experience.
After all, you’re going to get just as good of an education as the people who attend other colleges.
Talk to your parents, your friends, and your high school counselors whilst you can, and really take the time to determine whether a commuter school would be right for you.
In this guide, we’ve walked you through what a commuter school is, as well as the pros and cons, so you are armed to make the best decision for your needs.
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