By: Alyssa Acierno
Special to the Chronicle
It all started this summer when I ran into a community member in my local grocery store. She politely asked when I was leaving for college. An uneasy look appeared on her face as I replied, "I'm not leaving for college." I guess I confused her, as she presumed that the salutatorian was not going to college at all, but what I meant was that I am a commuter.
From orientation to Welcome Week to even the first day of school, commuters have been encouraged to "get involved!" in the college experience by joining clubs, making new friends and staying on campus as much as possible.
As I sat through these commuter discussions, I wondered exactly how I would get involved as these adults, and even some older commuter students, had encouraged. I wondered how I could possibly make a college experience for myself without living on campus. Now, as I have endured the first week of school, I think I have attained some wisdom that I would like to share:
First, don't be shy. Make friends. It can be as simple as striking up a conversation about getting lost around campus or about your classes this semester. Find friends that are both commuters and residents. Friends that live on campus can keep you posted on Hofstra events and provide a dorm away from home for studying, while commuter friends can share your pain of traffic and driving. Personally, I have made two best friends at Hofstra so far and they are both residents. Our commonalities and personalities make us such good friends!
Second, stay on campus between classes. There is plenty to do on campus. You can eat, study, do homework, go to the fitness center or hang around with friends who also have some downtime. I usually text my friends the night before to see who is free the same time as I am. It's a great way to socialize and get familiarized with the campus
Lastly, join clubs. Although I haven't been able to fully execute this advice, I have signed up for clubs that I would have joined in high school. Commuting does not mean giving up your passions and hobbies.
I wish I had more advice to give to fellow commuters out there. I myself am trying to find my way as a Hofstra commuter, and as I learn I will continue to share my insights. So far, I have felt right at home here at Hofstra and I hope to help other commuters feel the same.