off campus

Campus Blog

Do commuters miss out?

October 12th, 2012 | Laura Vallelonga


I am not from around the Springfield area. I live nearly 14 hours away in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. That being said, I have always lived on-campus here at Evangel. However, as the years have gone by many of my friends have made the switch from on-campus living to commuting.

Some have gotten married, others have opted to rent apartments with friends, and still others have decided to move back home with Mom and Dad for a bit.

Reflecting about my own Evangel experience, I found myself wondering what it would be like to live off campus — what is it like to be a commuter?  Is it better or worse? Do commuters still have an authentic “college experience” or are they missing out? So to find out, I talked to three of my friends who have recently moved off campus.

What’s the consensus?

All three of them explained to me that it “takes effort” to stay involved. One pointed out that “it’s important to make time for friendships because life gets busy.” They explained that living off campus can be really great. “You feel independent and have more living space.” However, you also forgo being fully immersed in campus life because you aren’t here 24/7.

Commuter Lunch

Zack Green and Elise Wood enjoy the Commuter Lunch held in October.

So, how do they avoid missing out on all that Evangel has to offer? Simply put, they try. They go to campus activities and events, participate in classes and talk to professors, and actively reach out to those around them. Like many college students, they have taken the time to get involved with their campus.

If you are thinking about commuting at some point during your time in college I would say go for it. After talking to my friends, I am confident that it can be a great option for many people. However, one thing they pointed out to me again and again was that they have to make the effort to stay involved. Evangel is primarily a residential campus, so you will miss out if you don’t make the effort to plug in. Fortunately, Evangel has an awesome Commuter Director, Mark Grantham, to help you get involved. The issue isn’t where you live; the issue is getting connected!

When you feel connected college becomes so much more than just “some school” — it becomes your home away from home.

*Special shout out to Janika VanZanten, Natalie Nordstrom, and Molly Hurt for giving me an inside look at commuter life!


Want more? Read Evangel’s housing policies, including criteria for commuter students.

Laura Vallelonga

Biblical Studies and Intercultural Studies major | Class of 2013

Laura Vallelonga, a senior from Bridgeport, West Virginia, is majoring in Biblical Studies and Intercultural Studies. She lives in Burgess Hall and has been involved in Branched Out, the CROSSwalk Student Ministries dance team.

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