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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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The Trials of Commuting

Editor’s Note: Click here see the companion article to this, titled “The Rewards of Commuting.”

(STATESMAN STOCK PHOTO)
Living on campus provides students with more access to opportunities on campus. (STATESMAN STOCK PHOTO)

Commuting to Stony Brook can be a hassle, but it is something that a lot of students on campus, including myself, have to do on a daily basis. About 45 percent of Stony Brook’s students commute, with students coming from all over the island, including areas of Nassau and the five boroughs. For those of us that have to do it, we have to deal with the constant hassles that come with commuting; traffic, bus delays, train delays, accidents, or other types of impediments that just seem to be in the most inconvenient places at the most inconvenient times. Whether there is an accident on route 347 or traffic on Nicolls Road, commuting can be a hassle that may make you wish that you just lived on campus.

Being a commuter, you have a train to catch or traffic to beat, which means you have a schedule to strictly adhere to. If not done correctly, this will be a real pain in the neck. Even if you woke up late and you lived on campus, most places on campus are accessible within a reasonable walking distance of about 10 minutes. Waking up late in Shoreham or Babylon will result in you either being extremely late or not even making it to any of your classes.

Then comes the problem of having large gaps in your schedule. Should you live on campus, it is easy to go back to your dorm and take a nap or finish some work while waiting for your class, but for a commuter it is different. I have met people who have a five hour gap between classes, but commute about an hour each way just to get to Stony Brook, making a trip back home seem pretty much pointless as they would waste both time and money getting to and from the campus. Now, you could go to one of the commuter lounges and try to meet up with a friend or try to make some new friends, until you realize the lounges are more like morgues than places to socialize. Most of the couches are occupied by sleeping students, commuters who are finishing up work, or people trying to finish up that last episode in their “Breaking Bad” binge. This seems to be the average, normal occurrence in the commuter lounges, and it can definitely leave people feeling left out in a campus as large as Stony Brook’s.

Commuters can, without a doubt, feel like they are left out of the ‘loop’, so to speak, at Stony Brook. With a campus of over 16,000 undergraduate students and over 8,000 graduate students, it is easy to feel lost. Stony Brook offers many clubs to students on campus. However, as a commuter, you sometimes do not want to stay until 8 p.m. for a club, and then have to drive back home. If you are commuting from the city you really cannot stay on campus and wait for a club later on at night. It is a hassle, since it is a lot easier for commuters to meet people through clubs than just striking up a conversation in one of the lounges. This is when you have to make the choice of either meeting a new person or getting some sleep.

It also feels like there are not nearly as many associations for commuters as there are for residents; while there is the CSA and the CSS, the amount of clubs for commuters, or really even the amount of events for commuters, pales in comparison to the amount of events held for residents.

Being a commuter, while having the benefit of a home cooked meal, also has disadvantages that residents do not have to deal with, like commuting and having a harder time meeting new people. But, to those who are commuting, try to get involved on the campus. It will definitely help you meet new people, make new friends and make Stony Brook feel like a much smaller place than it really is.

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