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To commute or not to commute?

By DANIELLE ASHAKIH • Jan 2, 2019 at 7:00 PM

As students continue to enjoy winter break, some having more than a month to relax, there is plenty of time to reflect about college. Two freshmen, who recently completed their first semester, shared their different academic experiences.

Laura Skinner is enrolled at Cleveland State University as a health science major. She is staying home over winter break until her next semester starts near the end of January. Having never lived on her own, moving into a dorm with three other roommates was a new challenge in her life.

“I wanted to get away from Norwalk because I wanted to live in a different environment. I had to try to figure out who I was as a person and I had to become more mature and more responsible,” said Skinner, a recent Norwalk High School graduate.

Even with the benefits of meeting new people, sharing memories and coming to love and appreciate the city of Cleveland, there are downsides. It can be expensive with housing costing an additional $4,694 on top of regular tuition for Skinner, who lives in Euclid Commons.

“Make sure that you're ready to move away and save up money because you are going to need it in the long run. … if you want to do fun stuff with your roommates and you don’t have money, it’s hard,” she said.

Erica Miller is a freshman at BGSU Firelands and is studying to become a social worker. She currently is commuting to Firelands from her home in Norwalk.

“I had a hard time deciding what school I wanted to go to. It was basically what was best for me financially and what was the best for me at this moment in time,” said Miller, also a recent NHS graduate.

With a student population of 2,516 students, BGSU Firelands is small college compared to Cleveland State, which has a population of 17,260.

“I know that I’m not really ready to go to a big university yet and I can probably get my four-year degree there (at BGSU Firelands), so I’m looking forward to that,” she said.

“Financially it’s so much cheaper because when you go to a huge university, you are paying to live there. Going to BG I’m just paying for classes,” Miller added. “It was nice to commute and still live at home with my mom and my brother.

“Do what's best for you and your own mental state. … Do things that make you happy and get involved in things and have fun.” 

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