When my not-so-glamorous life is broken down into tasks, I start to wonder how I haven’t gone insane.
Bear with me: 1. Monday: wake up; take bus to New York City; intern; take bus home; drive to FDU; go to meeting; work on newspaper layout; drive home. 2. Tuesday: wake up; drive to FDU; go to class; drive home. 3. Wednesday: wake up; drive to FDU; go to class; go to meeting; go home. 4. Thursday: wake up; drive to FDU; go to class; drive home. 5. Friday: wake up; take bus to NYC; intern; take bus home. 6. Saturday: SLEEP. 7. Sunday: wake up; drive to FDU; work on layout; drive home. 8. Repeat.
Part of me wants to run in the opposite direction when I think of this semester and all the things that come with it, while another part of me can’t wait to say, “I did it,” when it’s all over.
This schedule, when you think about it, isn’t much different than a regular college student’s. The only difference for me is that it is filled with things I’m still adjusting to: this is my last semester as an undergrad; I don’t have practices at the crack of dawn for soccer anymore; I’m interning in NYC; and, I’m not a campus resident anymore.
Of all these changes, the most dramatic is the fact that I’m commuting.
Quite frankly, I never thought I’d see the day where I didn’t live on campus. Ever since I was a freshman I’ve lived all over the place – Building 8 in the Village, Rutherford Hall and Park Avenue.
This semester, however, I’m back to my small, humble abode on the corner of Orchard and Boiling Springs in good, ol’ East Rutherford, N.J. (For all of you thinking, “where the heck is East Rutherford,” it’s the home of MetLife Stadium, formerly known as Giants Stadium – the stadium where some of the greatest athletes in the world have played, like Pele and Messi. It’s also the former home of the Nets and the Devils.)
Most people commute because they either live too close to campus, rent nearby housing with other students from FDU or can’t handle the financial burden of an estimated $50,000 for an academic year on campus. I commute for none of the reasons above.
Instead, I commute because I love living at home.
No, I don’t love it because of the home-cooked meals, the full-sized bed I get to sleep in every night or the shoe-less showers I get to take for as long as I want. Those things are definitely advantages to living at home, but there are other, location-specific things about living in East Rutherford that got me to commute this semester.
First off, I live eight miles from NYC. Yes, only eight, short miles from the greatest city on earth. For a small price of $8.50, I can take a bus ride into and from NYC at any hour of the day at a bus stop only a block from my home.
Depending on the time of day, the trip can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as 40 minutes. This trip is a lot shorter and cheaper than taking the train from Convent Station near FDU, which costs $23 for a round trip and takes about an hour and a half.
This commute into the city is so much more convenient for me especially since I have to go into the city every Monday and Friday for my internship. Also, I love the city and always am finding a reason to go there, whether it’s for a rock show or a fancy, rooftop bar. The city is like my oversized playground.
I also live ridiculously close to Hoboken – a short 10-minute drive or 20-minute train ride. As much as I have enjoyed nights at Dark Horse and other Morristown bars in the past, Hoboken is one of my favorite places.
Lastly, I love being home because it’s where all of my best friends are.
Some people when they live on campus tend to burn their bridges with their friends from home. I love my friends too much to do such a thing. Also, my hometown isn’t like most towns. Every friend of mine who goes to college lives at home; I live in a town of commuters. And, now, after seven semesters of being a resident, I caught up with the trend.
Of course, I have my set of friends on campus as well as my soccer team, but my busy schedule this semester would keep me from enjoying their company regardless.
With an 8:30 class on Wednesday mornings and interning every Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the party nights on campus. Unfortunately, my last semester of college is one where I need to have my priorities set differently than past semesters. Partying is on the dead bottom.
Even though I’m now officially a commuter, it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it.
I only have a class a day on campus every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but with The Pillar, I’m also on campus Sundays and Mondays.
Some people might find it a hassle to drive to campus five times a week, but I don’t mind. The way my schedule works, the longest trip I have to make is 30 minutes. And, plus, the trip is worth it because of the perks East Rutherford has.
Sometimes I miss living on campus. I miss the stress-free mornings where I can roll out of bed and go straight to class. I also wish I had more time to take advantage of the new library. But, like I said, I had to grow up a semester sooner than I had hoped.
As much as I loved living at FDU for the past four years, home is where my heart will always be and FDU could never replace that permanently.