Dear Freshman (Commuter Edition)
Dear Freshman Commuter,
As someone who spent my first year here driving to and from school, I’ve experienced some of the emotions and challenges that can come with commuting. This is a letter to my younger self- a few things I wish I knew freshman year.
#1. Your presence matters. Sometimes it can be easy to feel insignificant. Even the simplest things like getting up at the crack of dawn, entering in a different door than everyone else, and eating lunch in Leprino can cause feelings of unimportance and insignificance. I just want to remind you that you are needed on this campus. Your perspective, insight, and unique personality are irreplaceable. Not only do you have the ability to see the college “experience” in a different way, but God has gifted you with a heart and mind unlike anyone else.
#2. The drive here can be a gift. I’m not here to preach at you and say it’s a wonderful blessing that you have to get up and scrape the snow off your car before driving over in the morning (what a blast). No. Honestly as someone who now lives on campus, I miss those drives. It was such a valuable opportunity to prepare my heart for the business ahead. Listening to music, praying, or even just sitting in silence were some of the things I found helpful.
#3. Reach out! Living on campus, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the people who have different experiences. Opening up a conversation and expressing a need can have a powerful effect. Asking to stay the night, to hang out in their apartment, or simply study with someone is genuinely something that may not cross their mind.
#4. Seek out ways to invest in the community. CCU hosts many events and extra credit chapels that can be a really good way to get to know people. Even something as simple as grabbing coffee or going to office hours and meeting with professors are practical ways to connect. Sometimes it will take a little extra effort, but it’s honestly so worth it. There are a lot of commuters that are seniors that feel they don’t know anyone and honestly, it’s because they haven’t gone out of their comfort zone.
#5. Find people that validate and fill you. There might be days when it feels like you only have a few interactions, and everyone seems to be connecting but you. As a human, you need to be reminded of your worth and the importance of your presence. Find people that affirm that in you.
Dear freshman commuter- no, you don’t have the “typical” experience, and that comes with its difficulties. However, I would like to challenge you to step beyond that mindset and believe this: You are such an important part of this campus, and there is community to be found. It may take extra effort, but it is so worth it.
A senior that cares about you.