A popular stereotype at Castleton State College is that commuter students miss out on the college experience of sporting events, clubs, comedy nights, parties, dorm life and the many other aspects of the social life on-campus students enjoy.
Some commuters say it’s true, but others say it shouldn’t be used to categorize CSC commuters in general.
“I just come here, go to class and go home, I don’t do anything extra,” said Brittany Nolan, a senior who commutes 45 minutes each way for many different reasons, but primarily because it’s cheaper.
“You save money. I was able to keep a job I already had at home instead of having to find a new one,” Nolan said.
But Nolan is just one out of hundreds of CSC students who commute from various distances, and some choose to embrace the non-academic side of campus as well as the academic.
Junior Kaylee Pratt commutes from Hampton, N.Y., but is still finding time to immerse herself in more of what the college has to offer than just classes, including starting on the volleyball team.
“Overall my experience at Castleton, I believe, is very similar to those students who live in the dorms. Being that I do have a lot of friends on campus as being involved in clubs and volleyball, I am almost always at the college,” Pratt said.
Senior Michaela Harrington, also seems to have found balance.
“Of course there are pros and cons of commuting, but I still get to enjoy campus activities offered. I participate in flag football currently,” Harrington said.
Melinda Mills, a women’s and gender studies professor at CSC, said lives of commuters students can be just as rewarding an exas those students who reside in the dorms.
“The way that living further away is almost counterintuitive, you end up making different kinds of connections than on-campus students might.” Mills said.
“One possibility is that students who come from other communities might feel anchored, so they might bring different perspective to the Castleton campus.”