Commuting, is it the right choice?

by Carol Nasr

You may be asking yourself, should I commute or live a little bit far from campus? What are the pros and cons of this decision and what do other UCLA students say as to why they love what they choose? We first consider both sides of the argument:

Cons of Commuting:

  • Time spent on the roads.
  • Not having “friends” because you are a commuter.
  • Never really feeling welcome.
  • Harder to choose classes and get involved.
  • Late nights studying or working on projects make it hard to balance wellness and school.

Pros of Commuting:

  • Being able to have a better work-life balance so that school is only a part of your week/day, and you don’t live at it.
  • The obvious: it saves money.
  • Laundry at home.
  • Can be more involved in the area around campus and your community.
  • No need to move in and out every summer.

Now we will see what different students say:

Batool Ibrahim, a third year student majoring in political science, made a list of things she likes and dislikes about her experience with her 40 minute commute.

Batool likes it because “it’s nice to still have my parents help me in everything, I don’t have to be on my own and grow up too fast. The only thing I’d change is LA traffic or price of gas, other than that the drive is not bad.” The list she compiled goes as follows:

Batool’s Pros:

  • I get to stay home so I’m not living with someone else and sleep in my own bed every night
  • I get to be in my hometown every day
  • I get to save money on housing
  • I do not have to deal with a roommate I don’t like (other siblings)
  • I get to have home-cooked meals

Batool’s Cons:

  • Leaving the house way earlier than my class time to get to school
  • Gas money
  • I cannot meet up with friends because I commute just for school and don’t go all the way there to socialize
  • Harder to socialize because I’m not on campus and don’t live super close

Allison Rodriquez, a first year student majoring in psychology says, “I enjoy commuting because I look forward to ending class and coming home to my family since I am so attached to them and have never been away from home. Something positive is coming back home from school with a home-cooked meal waiting for me. Something I would change is if there was a faster route for just UCLA students to be allowed to take so I would not be stuck in traffic for so long. The only con I feel is the traffic driving back and forth.”

The benefit of living in the dorms from talking to other UCLA students is the community that living on the Hill provides you, particularly for your first year. Everyone is so social, and you end up knowing your whole floor and seeing those people in the next year’s housing as Allston Liu, a second year student majoring in biology, has experienced. The food is great and the amenities on the Hill are great.

Everyone has a different goal for their college experience and path, but whatever you choose to do, make it your experience, and make the most of it. There is no wrong decision.

Featured Image Photographed by Patrick Shao/BruinLife

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