How To Commute and Compute

Jake Tapley

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Unfortunately, for many commuters (myself included), driving to and from campus everyday can feel like nothing more than an extension of secondary education.

As a commuter student, I feel distant. Although I am now actively involved with The Shield, a misplaced sense of belonging still hangs over my head.

I have arrived at the conclusion that, often times, it’s just difficult to maintain a life as a resident outside of the university while keeping up as a student socially within the university. (You can’t have your cake and eat it too.) It’s a dynamic that I haven’t gotten the hang of just yet.

But why is it so difficult?

Personally, I think it’s a matter of attitude – the phrase “you get what you give” comes to mind.

Unfortunately, for many commuters (myself included), driving to and from campus everyday can feel like nothing more than an extension of secondary education.

But now that the high school cliques have all dissipated and friends have all separated, it feels foreign. How do we forge connections with total strangers?

My recommendation is to just put yourself out there. Don’t simply attend classes and leave campus for the day – this will get you absolutely nowhere.

You’ll end up feeling lost and disconnected from your own life.

Go join a club or find something you’re interested in and find other people who share those interests. Having a major can also be beneficial in helping identify the people that you have common ground with.

So seek out people who share your major. They may be precisely what your college experience has been lacking.

Joining The Shield has been a monumental step for me. I am now surrounded by familiarity – a comforting feeling. Through branching out and exploring my interests, I have found a network of support and friendship.

I encourage you make the best of your time here at USI and actually participate – go beyond your education by getting involved.

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