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3 ways commuters can stay involved on campus

Friday, September 12, 2014

There are benefits to being a commuter college student. For example, you can stay in the comfort of your own home without sharing your space with a roommate. You also can save a significant amount of money since you aren't paying on-campus room and board. However, despite the perks, some students can feel isolated when they see their resident peers forming close friendships with other students and staying in the middle of the action. While it can be more difficult for commuter students to stay active on campus, it's not impossible. Consider these tips if you're a commuter who wants to connect with other students.

1. Do your work on campus
Remaining on campus for as long as possible each day is important to staying connected. If you're traveling to campus just for class, you're missing out on some valuable social time, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"When you just go to class and go home, you're kind of on your own and more isolated — less likely to reach out," Janelle A. Densberger, director of leadership education and student activities at Fontbonne University in Missouri, told the source.

There are plenty of areas on campus that encourage students to get their work done in a group setting. Try the cafeteria for starters. If it's too noisy or crowded, consider visiting an on-campus café or other location that is reserved for studying and may be quieter and more inviting to those who need to get their work done. Oftentimes, it's not just commuters who use campus facilities to complete assignments. Many resident students seek out campus sites when they need to escape the confines of their dorms but still remain productive. You may start to see the same students repeatedly, making it easier to initiate conversation and connect with other students who have similar schedules and interests.

2. Get involved in activities
There's no better way to connect with people who share your interests than to join an on-campus group or club. If you've always been interested in golf or ultimate frisbee but never got involved in high school, joining a group sport at your school will allow you to be a part of an engaging activity that keeps you active and in touch with your peers. Were you always interested in writing? Becoming a part of your school's newspaper or magazine can not only connect you with similar individuals, but it also helps boost your résumé and gives you an edge when you apply for jobs or internships. Getting involved in this way can make for a more comfortable and friendlier college experience.

"When you are involved on campus outside of classes, you are meeting more students and professors. When you see them in class the next week, you maybe have a different comfort level. It's the same with peers. When you have a question about math homework, you have more people to go to," Densberger told Post-Dispatch.

3. Talk to classmates
Even if your class is more of a series of lectures rather than a collaborative environment with discussions and group projects, there are still opportunities to interact with your classmates. Offer to share notes with the person next to you, or suggest starting a study group with students who have similar schedules., an online guide to mastering the art of communication, noted that starting a conversation with a classmate could be as simple as saying "Hi" and introducing yourself. Try commenting on something that was discussed in class, or ask what made him or her choose a particular professor or course. It can be intimidating to initiate conversation with strangers, but college is a time to step outside of your comfort zone and meet new people. - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited programs that most interest you.

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3 ways commuters can stay involved on campus
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