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Commuters describe how their situations differ from residential students’ experiences

BU juniors Anna Crump and Danielle Swallow and senior Jensen Kitrel gather in front of their off-campus house. Photo courtesy of Danielle Swallows.

By: Bienja Eastham

Moving off campus can lead to better time-management skills but also lead to challenges staying connected to campus.

Junior Danielle Swallow said it is at least a 20-minute walk or 5-minute drive to her classes from her house on Deerwood Avenue. This is a short distance, but it does become an issue when a class is canceled or there is a long break between classes, she said.

“If I have less than an hour break between classes, I’ll stay on campus and go to the library just because it’s easier,” Swallow said. “There’s not a lot of parking options, so it’s harder to come back and forth from campus to my house.”

Junior Ty Johnson said he lives 15 minutes from campus, and the distance sometimes affects him because he tends to arrive early to classes.

“If classes are canceled unexpectedly, and there’s another class after, it makes me have to wait longer, or I waste gas driving home,” Johnson said. “Whenever I have an hour-long break between classes, I usually drive off campus to get some food.”

Junior Tessa DeLaMar said she lives 10 minutes from campus and drives to class daily.

“If a class gets canceled, I usually find a spot in the library to go and do homework, or I’ve met people who live on campus and walk to them,” DeLaMar said. “I use a lot more gas than I did when I lived on campus, and with the gas prices being so high it is sometimes a struggle.”

DeLaMar said she usually leaves her house 15 minutes before her class starts.

“When I used to live on campus, it was a 10-minute walk to class, and it’s about a 10-minute drive to campus, so I would’ve left around the same time anyways, except finding a parking spot is a little bit harder,” she said.

Staying connected to campus life as a commuter isn’t as difficult as students would think.

Swallow quit field hockey at Bellarmine just before the season ended, and that has given her more free time.

“After quitting field hockey, and after realizing the majority of my friends are still on that team, I found it difficult to include myself in different things on campus,” Swallow said. “Since I’m not in a dorm, I don’t get to branch out as much, because I live in a house with some of my former teammates.”

DeLaMar joined intramural soccer as a way to still stay connected with campus life and her peers.

“I decided to join intramural soccer when I moved off campus last year so I had an activity to do on campus still besides my classes,” DeLaMar said. “I had to drive to practice instead of walk like my teammates who live on campus, but it was nice to still be included in an extracurricular activity.”

Johnson said it’s difficult not having a meal plan on campus and spending more money than usual on fast food. He spends between $30 to $50 a week on food. The cost for an off-campus meal plan is $244. This plan includes 30 meal swipes and $50 of flex for a semester.

The meal plan for commuters costs less but also includes less food than an on-campus meal plan, which means students living off campus usually spend more for food than residential students.


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