Commuters vs. Residents:


Jennifer Rubino

Commuter and resident students have very different college experiences. Neither one is necessarily any better than the other, it is just a matter of preference depending on the individual. Sometimes, students may try one option and then decide it is not for them. It is never too late to try something new and college is the perfect time to do just that. There are some pretty distinct differences between commuters and residents. The most obvious difference is commuters make a daily trip to Kean University, while residents live on campus. Both commuters and residents may consider Kean University as their second home, so they do have something in common after all!

Let's focus for a minute on the differences between commuters and residents. Commuters face taking time out to look for a place to park or to ride public transportation. Residents walk to class and can be there within five minutes. They are also able to catch up on their sleep since they do not need to allow for travel time.

Resident students are often more familiar with the campus than commuters. This would seem pretty natural considering they spend all day and night here at Kean University. It's not shocking for a freshman resident student to know exactly where Downs Hall is whereas a senior commuter student may be completely disoriented and not able to locate it. Usually, commuter students are only familiar with the buildings in which their classes are held. After class, they don't spend a lot of time

wandering around the campus. Instead, they get back in their car to make their way home before rush hour.

There is also a noticeable difference between commuters and residents when it comes to attire. Residing on campus often encourages a laid back lifestyle and comfortable clothes whereas commuters are able to pamper themselves with the comforts of home. Commuter students are at times more professional in their manner of dress than residents. Another explanation for this observation could be commuter students may have an off campus job to report to after class.

Living on campus can be a very interesting experience. It requires living with other people and learning to compromise. These skills will be helpful throughout one's life, especially when it comes to relationships, but commuters may be more independent and fond of peace and quiet. It's not that they aren't social; it's just that they have an easier opportunity to retreat into their own world when they feel like it. Also, residents may need to report to the library in order to find a place to study whereas commuters will always have the luxury of their bedroom. However, residents are more likely to attend events since they are right on campus and it is easier to find the time to participate in activities. .

ID cards mean something different to commuters and residents. Commuters rarely use their ID cards. In fact, the only reasons a commuter would use their ID would be to check out a library book, access a computer lab, or to look up their student ID number. Residents depend on their ID cards for almost everything. If it weren't for an ID card, resident students would be hungry and homeless. The Cougar ID card acts as a meal card for the cafeteria. They also need their ID to proceed into the residence hall when they want to return to their room.

Despite their many differences, commuters and residents should hold to their common thread- they all attend Kean University. No matter what type of lifestyle you choose for yourself, Kean University offers an affordable education that will last a lifetime and you should take every opportunity to be involved.

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