Commuters can still find time to make friends

School policy changed this year to make it mandatory that all freshmen and sophomores live on campus. However, some freshmen and sophomores that live within a 35-mile radius are allowed to stay at home. These students may wish to live on campus but cannot for financial or family reasons. Commuters in their first two years of college often deal with the hardships of finding a parking spot, making time between school and going home to spend time with friends. While it may seem like a bummer to spend the first two years of college living at home with your parents, there are other ways to make the best of the long hours spent on campus.

The truth of the matter is that parking at TCU is bad not only for commuters, but for everyone. Getting to school earlier has proven to be an effective solution for most commuters to find a parking spot. Those commuters that choose to come early, however, face the dilemma of having nothing to do for a couple of hours before their classes start.

The good news is that campus has a variety of things that can not only kill time, but energize your body and mind. For example, the University Recreation Center, which usually opens at 6 a.m. during the week, allows you to have an energy-packed workout to start the day.

If a morning workout is not appealing, maybe a hearty breakfast at The Main or Frog Bytes is a choice method to start the day. The library is also open for those who enjoy getting ahead on homework.

Spending time with friends is often difficult when commuting to and from school every day.

Any time between classes would be a great time to call up friends. Or you could stay on campus for meals.

Amanda Diaz, a sophomore secondary education major and a commuter from Haltom City, said, “I enjoy lunch with the people I meet in my classes.

If money is an issue and affording lunch everyday at The Main is difficult, try bringing lunch and dinner from home instead. There are microwaves located in Frog Bytes and The Main that free for students to use.

Making friends could be one of the toughest things a commuter may have to struggle with. Between school and home, a commuter may have no time to devote to meeting new people because they are not so close to the student life at TCU. Getting involved in the TCU community will bring fun, friends and a closer connection to those lucky non-commuters.

Joining the Greek life is interesting whether it is Panhellenic or service sororities or fraternities.

“I felt like I was not being included in various college activities,” Diaz said. “I joined marching band and a sorority to get more involved.”

There are many religious-based organizations that will not only help one strengthen bonds of friendship but also strengthen faith life. Even work study is a great way to meet people – and even get help with tuition or money.

While young commuters face much stress, they can make the best of it.

Living with parents is not a social death sentence, nor does it have to hurt physical or social well-being. Commuters can be as well-adapted as the freshmen and sophomores that are required to live on campus.

While commuters may make a treacherous drive to school every morning, they do not have to travel far to find acceptance at TCU.

Hayley Freeman is a sophomore English major from Fort Worth.