Day 42 of 365 - Confessions of a Commuter
Here is the one post I have been putting off until I had a lot of feelings about it. And this post is special because it is something that comes from the deepest, darkest depths of my psyche…this post is about something I have done for almost four years. I am a commuter student, a very proud commuter student but a sometimes very lonely one at that. In this post I’m going to talk about my journey through college as a commuter student and hopefully explain why/how/whatever I have acted, etc. during certain times.
First of all a true commuter student is one who has commuted to campus ALL four years of college. Now I’m not talking about the folks who live a block away from campus. Sorry to my friends who do live a block away from campus; I’m just trying to distinguish what exactly, in my mind, constitutes a commuter student. A commuter student typically lives at home with their family, comes from all corners of Omaha, and basically lives out of their car for four years. Also the commuter that commutes the first year and then moves on campus doesn’t count either. Sorry to my friend Cameron, bro you are amongst the res hall dwellers.
Okay so now that I have explained what a commuter is, to me, I want to explain some things to folks who really don’t get what it’s actually like.
#1 - Public restrooms are our friends because if we have to change most likely it is in there.
#2 - We probably are carrying a lot of stuff because we can’t just go back to our rooms between classes so please don’t ask me a hundred times if I am going camping or something…hinting at you Father K.
#3 - We do actually participate in things on campus…when we are invited. Thanks Res Life for finally stepping up their game and inviting me to Christmas at Creighton…my senior year.
#4 - There are only a few of us but please do not ask us to drive in dangerous weather and risk our only form of transportation to get to your class which will most likely end up canceled by the university. I am talking to those professors that lack empathy when it comes to driving all the way across town for a class that is sometimes less than an hour.
#5 - Driving uses gas which means we are perpetually running out of said gas. Please don’t ask a commuter to drive anywhere unless you are willing to spot us. Gas is precious and we have to conserve as much as we can. (Ignore the ethics involved in this a lot of times commuters don’t choose to be commuters.)
#6 - Just because I drive to school everyday does not mean that I know where everything is in Omaha. Omaha is a gem of a place but when you are from a particular portion where everything is right near you, you don’t go exploring the rest of town much.
#7 - Finally, I basically live in my car so please do not comment on how it looks. I try to keep the area as clean as humanly possible but weather happens folks and I can’t stop mother nature. Trust me if I could I would and periods would not be a thing.
Okay so as you can tell there is definitely some angst going on in this post and I don’t mean to sound whiny, this is just a long time coming. But really like almost four years in the making. I also do not want to come off rude because I am a rare breed and I only know a handful of commuters - all of our stories are different. You can talk to any number of us and we will all tell you something different. My particular story is a bit lonely to begin with and gets better which this is not a woe is me thing because…well…screw that. This post is mainly me expressing my thoughts throughout these past 3.5 years.
Now you may possibly (not in the slightest) be wondering, “Alex? What do you mean your story is a bit lonely to begin with?” Well my kind-hearted reader I’ll be honest here - I was lonely the first semester of my Creighton career. I literally knew maybe ten people personally and I didn’t feel like I belonged. I worked most if not all of my weekends at my part-time job. I spent a lot of time in the library and didn’t try to put myself out there. I’m a shy person and putting myself out there is like trying to get me to stop breathing - neither are going to happen. So you could say it was my own doing for not getting out there but really it’s not necessary because I already blame myself. Thankfully the handful of really great people I had met would eventually introduce me to other great people so freshman year would end on a high note. S/O to Mackenzie, Emalee, Maggie, Tayler “fellow commuter” and co-owner of #commuterprobs, Emily Csik, and others who were kind enough to talk to me that year.
Second semester of freshman year was better and sophomore year is when things really took a whirlwind turn. I participated in Welcome Week as a Beadle (best RSP ever…sorry to my nuggets this year ya’ll are a close second) and I decided to join Kappa Kappa Gamma. Both decisions I do not regret to this day. But I do sometimes get frustrated when I have to stay late on Wednesdays when I would much rather be in bed by 9pm. What really makes up for that is my sisters especially in my new member phase and my friends whom I had met prior to joining Kappa.
Sophomore year was a breeze and then Summer Preview Round 1 - take me back to being a junior because what I wouldn’t give for more time at Creighton. By the fall I was a guide during Welcome Week, I was knee deep in Anna Tyler Waite - Level 3 and was about to become the Assistant Marshal in Kappa. Boy were things busy and hectic and I had taken summer school all summer so I was 9 credits (summer) + 18 credits (fall) + 18 credits (spring). For lack of a better word by May of 2014 I was pooped.
Senior year - Summer Preview Round 2 - take me back to those two weeks and I’ll still be talking about our shenanigans for years to come. I’m thankful for the people I was able to bond better with: Pfeif, Anna, Alex, Kelsey, etc. Thankful for the coolest students ever and my Laughing Lime Green Goats. BAM! Fall came running in and I had the cutest 22 nuggets in my RSP ever - S/O to Krista and Megan for dealing with me all the time. Also fulfilled my freshman year goal of being a Decurion and special thanks to Charisse Williams for getting me through to graduation. Encounter in November changed my perspective on everything and what I wouldn’t give to mash SPreview, Welcome Week, RSP, Encounter, and Initiation all into one month because I would have way too much fun.
Basically everything is slowing down and now all I have is driving in my car and writing in my blog. Okay for real, that is not all I have but it truly has been a whirlwind these past few years. I thank everyone for putting up with me and being nice to me when lord knows I probably didn’t deserve it. I thank you all for being my friends and inspiring me to continue this blog and smiling at me when I’m sad sometimes. To my fellow commuters who still have a ways to go - You can do it! It’s not hard when you surround yourself with great people.
Now the ultimate question to end this post - “Do you regret being a commuter and never living on campus?”
The short answer is no and the long answer is still no. People have regrets but I think my biggest one isn’t about commuting but my involvement on campus. I should have started sooner. I’ve lived in Kiewit for Summer Preview, I have eaten Brandeis and Becker, and I have spent plenty of time in all the buildings on campus so I think I more than made up for not living on campus. In conclusion - no I don’t regret being a commuter, I just regret not getting involved sooner which would have made my transition smoother.
Alright, that was longer than I intended it to be. Have a good night all and “be nice to nice” - for me tonight.