Provide for commuters

Jacqueline Lewis discusses the woes of commuting and the need for lower housing costs.


Marika Adamopoulos

Johnathan Burkhardt/THE CHIMES

Jacqueline Lewis, Writer

Making the decision of whether to commute or live on campus is never an easy one. With longer commutes, the decision requires a lot of thought regarding economic feasibility and discussion of what the students ultimately desires from college. Friends and family members often insist that if you commute, you will never truly have the real university experience or you will miss out on the greatest parts of college.

conveniences outweigh the inconveniences

Although I initially defended commuting from home because it enabled me to have a space to myself to do homework, relax or have a home-cooked meal, the new year has raised the question of whether these conveniences outweigh the inconveniences.

Over 41 percent of Biola students commute from off-campus locations around Southern California, and Biola generally does a good job making their commuter population feel welcome with the Collegium and the organization of the Off-Campus Community. Though the commuting experience does contain some commonalities, it still varies greatly depending on how far away you live from the school, your mode of transportation and the amount of time you must spend on campus.

Speaking from my own experience as a commuter with a 40 minute to one hour drive, I know the issues inherent to living nearly an hour away from where you spend the majority of your time do not disappear despite the amenities Biola provides.

time management as a commuter

Sophomore Elijah Roe and freshman Kelsie Estebo both said that time management as a commuter is a major issue due to how much time they have to spend on the road.

“Most of the time I do my work at school, but I find myself at home staying up late studying, but it’s sometimes hard to manage time – dealing with traffic and the time it takes driving home from school,” Estebo said.

The majority of the time as a commuter, the quintessential college life of staying up late at night with friends working on homework or simply enjoying each other’s company is difficult to obtain. When you have parents and siblings at home who cannot get to sleep until you are home or will jolt awake at three in the morning when you open that pesky, creaky door, you have to set your daily schedule to end a little earlier than that of your peers.

Unfortunately, this sometimes means you need to end a deep conversation with a dear friend early to arrive home on time. It means you cannot stay up all night comforting a hurting friend or be there within 10 minutes if a problem on campus arises. Juniors Haven Carrillo and David San Miguel also note that Biola schedules many of their events in the evening as well, which makes it difficult for commuters to attend.

hindering your abilities

Commuting from longer distances also affects the ability to work or intern, but not in the sense that if you commute you are less likely to be hired. Rather, commuting creates difficulties in deciding where you wish to work. On-campus work is convenient because you are there for the majority of the week, but on the other hand, it just creates more time you have to spend on campus. But if you decide to work closer to home, you are an hour away from your work the majority of the week while you are at school.

Although commuting has its benefits, it still does hinder your ability to stay involved on campus socially, academically and career-wise. In light of the importance of staying involved on campus, Biola and other universities should find ways to lower the cost of on-campus housing or provide more scholarships to provide for those specific needs. Their students will appreciate it.


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