Despite living my first semester on campus, I have been commuting to campus for the past three and half years. My commute usually takes around 30 minutes from home. In my senior year, I have learned how to include myself within the campus community. Especially as a STEM based major, with early morning labs, managing my time has been highly essential. Across campus, as well as from personal experience, I have found many outlets and resources that have aided me in managing my life as a full-time commuter.
According to the Monmouth University webpage, there are approximately 4,000 students in the total student body who commute to campus. One of the biggest issues most commuters face is managing their commute while feeling involved with on-campus events. To properly accommodate that, looking for on-campus events posted in the student center is a helpful resource. You can also refer to the Office of Student Engagement for resources or check out the Experience Monmouth app, which has a schedule of events.
Clay Vaughn, the Director of Student Engagement, said, “From a commuter perspective, we’re adjusting in order to gear our programs and activities toward off campus and commuter students…We’re looking at new ideas to speak to the needs of commuter students.”
Another good tool to utilize is Google Calendar. Here, you can put any events you would like to attend ahead of time and plan when to be on campus in a more organized fashion, while also avoiding the delay of rush hour traffic.
Another common issue is being late to class because of the swarm of students circling the parking lots. With the new intake of students, the best way to avoid that time constraint is to leave a little bit earlier. That way, commuters can make it to class on time after finding a place to park. This is especially important at the start of the semester, as you might not know where all your classes are.
Emily Schopfer, a junior digital photography student, stated, “Something that helped me as a commuter has been doing dry runs to campus once I get my schedule, to find out where my classes are. I don’t know the campus too well since I’m not living there, so I’ll go to campus before the semester starts and just walk around and figure out where all my classes are. It also helps me figure out how long it’s going to take me to get there.”
The Student Center offers a commuter lounge, where commuter students have access to a space to do homework. However, buildings across campus have numerous free places to do school work. The Great Hall has been newly renovated in the past year and has ample tables and charging stations readily accessible. The library also has rooms that can be reserved ahead of time. Also, if you are an Honors student, there is parking available for students in the back of the Beechwood residence hall. Inside, there is a lounge space accessible with one’s ID as well, with a computer longue, vending machines, and working space available.
As professors assign homework, printing can sometimes be an issue— especially if you don’t have a printer readily available where you live. The Student Center, has a computer longue accessible, with printers to use with your student account. One of my preferred places to print is in the library, with computers and printers available there as well. The library also has a scanner available if you need to scan any photographs or documents.
For meals on campus, plan ahead to bring food to campus. However, there are meals available for purchase as well as a commuter meal plan, especially if you plan to be on campus on a regular basis during mealtimes. With a car accessible as well, there are plenty of close food establishments and coffee shops right in the campus area.
One way to make money as a student is through on-campus jobs. Through the Student Employment office, they offer on campus jobs based around your schedule, that way they can make money while still being at Monmouth and experiencing all the school has to offer.
Monmouth University has information on their web site under “Campus Resources for Commuter Students,” providing additional recommendations and resources to aspects of commuter life such as meal plans, weather delays, etc. Commuting to campus may come with its own struggles, but there are always resources available to help you out.