Whenever anyone mentions or thinks of college, images of living on campus flash through our minds like a panorama. Throughout out our entire lives, the idea of dormitories, campus parties, meal plans, etc. is thrown in our faces. People always say, “You have to give dorm life a chance! You’re in college!” Unfortunately, with the state of the economy and rising tuition prices, it’s becoming harder to live on your own–let alone in a dorm. Commuting to college has become a more financially-stable option.
When I tell people I’m a commuter, the minute expressions and silent comments indicate their surprise and pity. However, I love being a commuter. It could be because it perfectly fits my personality. Yet, I would never, even if I had the money, decide to dorm rather than commute. Some people have the illusion that commuters don’t do anything but study or don’t have any friends. That’s not true at all. I have plenty of friends and I’m on campus frequently (even past classes). I participate in a lot of clubs and stay to hang out with friends who are a mixture of commuters and residents. Loneliness is a misconception of commuting. There are many reasons why I decided to commute. I consider them benefits and here they are:
- Save Money. I don’t have to shell out any money for living at home. Dorms can cost a lot when you calculate all four years at college (add it to tuition, meal plans, textbooks, etc.). It can rack up. I work two jobs so I love saving where I can.
- Can Go Anywhere I Want. Even if you have your driver’s license, you probably don’t have a car on campus or one at all. You’re pretty limited in where you can go. I drive out for lunch, shop at the closest mall, check out movies at the nearby theater, and more. No bus or taxi needed.
- Don’t Have to Cook. I don’t have to a meal plan! More money in my bank and I can have home-cooked meals every day. Plus, it’s easier for me to watch my diet when I’m at home too.
- Don’t Have to Fight for the Laundry Machine. Never will I have to worry about walking down or up several floors with a laundry basket to find out that I cannot do my laundry because all the machines are taken.
- Don’t Have Rules. There are certain times you can have friends over or stay out in a dorm. There’s no such thing at home. I come and go as I please.
- Calm Drives. College can be very stressful. Having time to myself in the morning and afternoon when I commute from home to school or vice versa is nice because I can collect my thoughts or simply relax whilst listening to music.
These are only a few out of many reasons why being a commuter isn’t all that bad. You may or may not agree. However, there’s always pros and cons to everything. Commuting, in my opinion, has enough pros to convince me to remain as one.
As a junior in college, it keeps getting harder to stay in shape like I used to in high school, and I think most college students (other than athletes) can agree. So what do you do?
Watch what you eat.
Whether you commute or live on campus, it can be hard to maintain a healthy and balanced diet; however, it’s not impossible. This doesn’t mean that every meal has to be slowly prepared and cooked with food purchased from Whole Foods. What I mean by this is, don’t eat a ton of Hersey bars and Hot Cheetos as a snack. It’s okay to have them every once in a while, but try to have an apple and some nuts instead. Make that the usual snack and junk the rare occasion munchy.
For breakfast try to make yourself a meal. If you don’t have a lot of time, having a hard boiled egg, some whole grain bread and cheese with drink of orange juice will be an upgrade over an energy bar and a Red Bull. For lunch, try to have a legitimate meal. Even if you eat out, try ordering chicken breast with a side of salad, and finally, don’t pig out for dinner. If possible, try having something as light as a fruit salad. If you’re having a hard time staying awake while studying, eat some carrots. Most importantly, try to eat in reasonable portions. As already mentioned, I understand this type of diet is hard to maintain, but try to follow through with it, or at least some variation as much as possible. Definitely avoid fast food places like McDonald’s and such.
Drink more water.
You’ve heard it a thousand times. “Drink more water. Water makes up 50-65% of your body.” It’s true, but you shouldn’t just drink water because it makes up a significant percentage of your body mass. Water is like a filter for your body. The more water you drink, the more it cleans out your system. Furthermore, substituting water for soda, is an extremely healthy choice. Avoiding soda in general should be a priority. Your body does not need soda, and it has absolutely no health benefits. Moreover, soda is a major contributor to weight gain. Once again, I understand college students need that kick to keep them awake, so they have soda, coffee or a Monster, but don’t make that a regular thing.
Get some exercise! I am a college student (an engineering major), and I know how hard it is to find time to exercise, but even half an hour can be extremely beneficial. Most campuses are really pretty. Try going through a 30 minute run every day. Jump rope outside. Some schools (like Benedictine) offer bike rentals. Get some fresh air. If it’s cold outside utilize your school’s gym. Run on the treadmill or use some other cardio machines such as bikes, ellipticals, stair step, etc. Do some free weight exercises, or take advantage of some of the fitness classes your school may offer. If your school doesn’t have a gym or offer these programs, do some exercises in your room. Everyone can benefit from the good ol’ push-up and sit-up.
Get some rest.
Try and get some sleep. Sleep will help your body recover from the day. In effect, you will be able to maintain good health. I know, firsthand, that sleep in college does not come easy, and getting those recommended eight hours can sometimes be impossible, but take advantage of sleep when you can. If you are finishing up a paper, then finish it, but don’t stay up on Netflix watching just one more episode of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones.
So if you wanna stay in shape in college, try to eat healthy, drink water, exercise and get some rest. If you can’t do all of these things, try to do at least two. You will feel better and have a greater capacity for learning. Creating these habits early on will stick with you throughout life and hopefully keep you in shape for a very long time.
What’s better than a free movie on a Friday night!? Well this Friday, November 7th, bring your student ID to the Ogden 6 Movie Theatre to get into any showing after 6pm for free! Also, you can ask for your student drink and popcorn special. (There is also a dollar store near by to stock up on some yummy candy shhh….)
The Best of Me: 7:15
Fury: 7:00, 9:50
Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible Day: 7:40, 9:35
Dracula Untold: 9:50
The Judge 6:40, 9:40
The Boxtrolls: 6:45
The Equalizer: 9:00
Guardians of the Galaxy: 6:50, 9:30
I find it aggravating that the idea of a college experience has drifted so far from what it should be. High school students (for the most part) are only concerned with going to the school with the most outrageous parties. The amount of drinking said to take place at certain universities takes precedence over what kind of programs the school provides for the intended major of the student. So when a high schooler claims a university that fosters a friendly environment for learning is not a real college because there is little to no partying, I cringe.
The sole purpose of college and going to college is to get a degree and to make oneself a more rounded individual. Over the years it has become about leaving home and learning how to live on your own. This is fine as well. College is supposed to be an institution of learning. This doesn’t necessarily imply just book learning. Therefore, it’s good for young adults to get a taste of the real life. However, now, more than ever, students are not concerned with either of those things. As mentioned earlier, it’s all about the drinking, going out and partying.
Am I saying college students should spend their whole college experience with their nose in a book? By no means, no. College is the time when you’re supposed to find yourself. That means you’re going to go out and have some fun. You should take advantage of all the activities available on your campus. Meet new people and explore different hobbies. I think this is great, but never forget that your main concern in college is to get an education.
Furthermore, many of the people who go to college with their main focus on partying, end up staying in college longer. This means more expenses, particularly loans. More loans mean getting to enjoy less of your paycheck when you finally land that job you’ve always wanted. Then, instead of being able to move out of your parents’ home and have money to really enjoy yourself, you’re stuck wondering why you took out so much money to party in a ten by ten room for four or more years.
If there is any one thing I want high schoolers to take from this brief rant, is that they should look for a college that meets their educational needs, a college that provides the best program for their major, and a school that meets their budget. In the long run, it will pay off, and when some of my peers are reminiscing about their wild college days, I’ll be baking in the sun in Bora Bora with the extra money I saved. Well, at least I’ll have a greater chance.
Wouldn’t it be a great feeling to know that you made a positive impact on Benedictine’s campus? That something you helped to change on campus will help those who attend Benedictine long after you graduate? For some, this might seem like too difficult of an effort to even try. However, it’s much easier than you think. Here are some things you can do around campus that will have a long-lasting effect.
- Start a club! Are you passionate about a hobby or topic and want to share it with your community? Benedictine is famous for having ambitious students who want to start clubs in order to change the world around them. With some paperwork and a few presentations, you can start something that will benefit the Benedictine community for years to come. Recently, two of my teammates are in the process of starting a Theatre Club and a Feminist Club. Both of which would bring something new and exciting to our campus.
- Start a petition! Don’t like the way something is done at Benedictine? It doesn’t have to stay that way! A petition with enough signatures cannot be ignored. Maybe you are like my friend who wants to start a petition to make Benedictine a smoke-free campus or a petition to make more parking spots for commuters. You can help change your community with just a signature.
- Do research! Ask your professor about working with them on a current research study. The findings from these studies can end up on the walls of campus and contribute to our schools outstanding representation for research. You can also share it with the community and, who knows, maybe save a life.
- Talk positively about our campus. This is the easiest thing you can do to help our campus. The more you talk positively about out campus to individuals you come across outside of school, the more people take us seriously. With this positive word out there, we will attract better students and better donors to give even better resources to our school.
- Give your recommendations to Student Senate. Don’t disregard them when they ask for suggesstions. They have the power to help change the things you want altered on campus.
- Talk to Food Services. Don’t like some of the food options at Krasa or Coal Ben? Want healthier options or more variety in what you eat? Talk to Food Services on 2nd floor Krasa and give them suggestions so that future students won’t have to suffer with bad food.
The great thing about our small campus is that making a difference is easy. In our close community, you can make changes that have a long lasting effect.