Commuting to school is a hassle all on its own but being a commuter student can have unique challenges – naming making friends. Building friendships may be harder to do if you’re only on campus for a limited amount of time. But it’s certainly not impossible!
To make long-lasting friendships you will have to do at least one of the following:
Be willing to stay on campus for a longer duration of time.
- Going straight from school to home was the biggest mistake of my freshman year. I had no social life because I wasn’t on campus long enough to talk to anyone! Stick around for a bit on campus and you will see a totally new world.
- Why study at home when you have a beautiful school library full of potential friends? Join a class study group and book a study room!
- Try joining a club that interests you or meets on campus. Clubs usually have weekly or monthly meetings on campus with all of their members. Research the clubs on campus and join one!
- Live a healthier lifestyle and go to the campus’ gym. You can make many new friends at the gym especially if you are a regular there.
- Join your school’s student affairs committee. If planning events is something that you enjoy, join a student lead committee that plans events on campus for the school. Like the homecoming planning committee.
- Take a break and relax in the quad. If your campus has a quad or place where many students tend to hang out at, take some time and just relax there. You may meet someone on the quad playing a fun game of soccer that you can join.
- Attend some campus events – even if they’re only an hour or two long. These events could be practical (job fairs, resume workshops, etc.) or more fun in nature.
Search for other commuters
You aren’t the only commuter on campus. In fact, there are probably a couple of other commuters in each of your classes. Seek them out and you can make friends that potentially take the same trains/busses that you do. Or you could see if they want to carpool. You’ll make new friends while leaving a lower carbon footprint and saving on costs. Having travel buddies on your commute can make any boring commute more fun.
Time management skills
This is a point that many commuter students don’t realize is very important when it comes to making friends. There are only 24 hours in a day and college takes up a huge part of it. You may not have much time to even have friends if you are in school for five hours and your daily commute is 1 hour each way. Managing your time well will help you figure out your daily schedule, so you can have time to spend on campus, at club activities, or hanging out with your friends. Without this type of organization, you might lose track of what you need to accomplish each class or semester. This can also make you feel stressed if you’re not able to keep up with plans you’ve made or activities you want to participate in. Don’t let a long commute take over your schedule.
Ways you can increase your time management skills:
Find your sleeping schedule
Knowing how much sleep you need to feel energized throughout your whole day will give you how many hours you are awake, so you can plan accordingly.
Get a planner
Planners are relatively cheap to buy and so helpful. Taking the time to write down the things that you want to accomplish that day will help keep yourself accountable. Pencil in important appointments with friends or soon-to-be friends.
Make the perfect class schedule
Having a two-day schedule is great, but get real with yourself. Will you go to campus on a day when you don’t have class? If the answer is no, then don’t do it. You will be missing out on time you could use to join a club and visit friends who live on campus. My pro tip would be to get at least 2 classes on at least four days of the week. I would suggest a Monday-Thursday schedule or a Tuesday-Friday schedule. You will be there most of the week where many events will most likely happen on.
Remember college is a ‘small world’ environment. All you have to do is stick around for a bit and you’ll find a ton of new friends at every corner.