Kathleen Moyer | April 4, 2014
Over the years, I’ve realized that there are many misconceptions about commuters floating around campus. In fact, I hear many of them on a regular basis. As a commuter, I know how untrue and silly some of these beliefs are, so I would like to clear up some of the negative misconceptions I’ve heard now. Here are some of them:
1) Commuters don’t want to live on campus – This is probably the most common misconception that I’ve heard. Many students believe that commuters choose not to live on campus because they simply don’t want too, but this isn’t true. In fact, I myself would prefer to live on campus. However there are other factors that come into play when making the decision to commute or live on campus, such as money, distance from home, and family responsibilities. I personally couldn’t justify spending more money to live about 20 minutes away from my home. However, this was a difficult decision for me due to the fact that I would much rather enjoy the convenience of living on campus.
2) Commuters don’t want to be involved on campus – In many (but not all) cases it’s true that commuters aren’t as involved on campus as residents. This isn’t because we don’t want to be involved. Many students think that commuters just want to come to campus, go to class, and then go home ASAP. It’s simply more difficult for us to become involved on campus with most events and club meetings late at night. Don’t think that commuters are uninterested in these activities though, because that is not the case at all.
3) Commuters are weird – This belief in itself is weird, yet I’ve heard it so many times. Apparently some students believe that commuters are just weird. I’m not sure what this entails exactly, whether it refers to the fact that we commute or our personalities in general. Either way, this belief is somewhat silly. I’m not saying that there are no weird commuters because you can find people you consider to be “weird’ in any group of people in society. The point is that there’s nothing weird about being a commuter.
4) Commuters like taking public transportation – I wasn’t going to include this one since I’ve only heard it once, but I think I should clear it up in the event that others believe it too. I’ve never met a commuter student, or anyone at all for that matter, who likes taking public transportation in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I think most commuters would choose commuting by pogo stick over public transportation if it were practical. Most that commute by public transportation do so because they can’t drive, it’s cheaper than driving, or it’s convenient – not because it’s enjoyable.
5) Commuters don’t want to leave home/accept responsibility for themselves – While this may apply to some people, it’s wrong to make this statement about commuters in general. I personally don’t know of anyone who chose to commute just to avoid accepting certain responsibilities. Most people in their late teens and early twenties are eager to leave home and take on more responsibilities by themselves. Again, the choice to commute comes down to a variety of factors, but this usually isn’t one of them.
6) Commuters are bad to work with on group projects – This seems to be another common one. Sometimes it may be more difficult to schedule group meetings for project because of the restricted schedules that some commuters have. However, this doesn’t mean that commuters are bad group members or that you should avoid them when choosing groups. In the group projects that I’ve done, I’ve had little to no trouble scheduling meetings and in some cases I’ve had to take on the most work. I’ve also been in groups with other commuters who were able to make it to every meeting and pull their own weight. Therefore, I can say from experience that you shouldn’t question someone’s ability to complete their work based on the fact that they commute.
I hope this has cleared up some things you may have heard about commuters, or may have even believed yourself. If you have heard any other misconceptions feel free to share them in the comments!