I am a commuter student at ASU and ever since I began my undergrad, I have felt some weird separation from university life. I’ve been both an on and off-campus student now and I can definitely say that there is a difference when you live on campus vs when you live off campus.
Living on campus seems to be what is the “natural” or “expected” college experience, and I lived on campus my first year of college. I felt very included and in the loop about anything and everything on campus. I mean yeah, everything was taped on our door or on the bulletin board, but I felt like they went out of their way to make sure on campus students knew about what was going on all of the time. However, off campus, you seem to never know what’s going on until the day of, or after the event. I’ve found myself countless times walking around campus while an event is setting up and saying to myself “what is going on?” Or, I’ll see something going on in our ballrooms and have no idea what it is. I feel so disconnected from my university that claims to care about me, even as an off campus student.
The ASU campus I attend is 50% on campus students and 50% off campus, if I would have to guess. Meaning there are probably other students who feel the same way I do. However, just because you feel disconnected, doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Here are some ways that you can be proactive about staying involved on-campus, as a commuter!
Hang Out on Campus
If you’re one of those students who go to school, stay for the class, and then leave right after class you probably won’t be able to figure out what’s going. Eat lunch with your friends in the cafeteria, or study in the library. I’ve learned of some pretty cool events on campus from just sitting at the dining hall for lunch and reading the little flyers that they put on every table.
Have a friend who lives in the dorms? Hang out in the dorms with them! This is where most of the information gets posted for on-campus students. If you want to be in the know, then this is where you want to be.
You can’t find out about the events going on if you’re not actually on campus beyond your scheduled class time. I learned this the hard way my sophomore year. Living off campus, you’re tempted to just go home and get away from campus as fast as possible, but don’t. Stay for a while…after all, you are paying to go there!
I hate a cluttered email inbox as much as the next college student, but email is the main way that colleges and their organizations get the word out about what’s happening on campus. So don’t quickly send all university email straight to spam because you might be missing out on the best events on campus. If you’re not getting these emails, then they are probably already in your spam folder and you’ll have to retrieve them.
When you get these emails and you hear about an event that you actually want to attend, star that email and add it to your calendar so you don’t forget about it! If you use Gmail, the event date will basically be begging you to add it to your calendar.
It’s clear that social media is the newest way to get the word out about events. Many colleges have (unofficial) Facebook groups for respective classes. I myself am part of the ASU 2017 Facebook group and the New College 2017 Facebook group (my specific college). I’m even part of an ASU off-campus Facebook group. This is a great place to find out about awesome events going on.
Twitter is another great place. Many colleges are active on social media, sharing and engaging their students about events and happenings on campus. If there’s a big event going on, usually there is a corresponding hashtag which you can search and find out all of the details about the event.
In the end, you do have to put in a little more work to find out about these events, compared to on-campus students. But, get in the know and don’t miss another awesome campus event again!
Lauren is a fashion and beauty, lifestyle, college, and travel blogger in Phoenix, Arizona. She is also a contributor for The Young Hopeful. Lauren is currently a junior at Arizona State University. She is pursuing her BA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with a focus in Business. She is also part of Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. In her spare time, you can find Lauren watching her favorite YouTubers, or sipping a Pepsi and planning with her favorite planner. You can find Lauren on her blog, Twitter, Instagram, and more!