There are probably a lot of you who live within commuter distance of Ryerson, and are trying to decide whether you want to live on or around campus, or if you’re better off taking public transit into the city. Here are the main pros and cons of commuting that I’ve thought of that will hopefully help you make your decision (Note: I live in Brampton, which is an hour and a half to two hours commute).
I always say that if I went to a school in a smaller town, the cost of rent would be almost equivalent to the cost of commuting to Ryerson on the GO. But since Toronto has CRAZY rent prices, I’m able to save a few hundred dollars each month taking the train. This means less money I have to pay back to OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) which is always a plus.
Some people may not be ready to live on their own, and although I think I could, I’m glad I don’t have to move out just yet. I like getting away from the excitement of the city at the end of each day, and being in the comfort of my home. It is quiet, familiar, and feels good to have be in a space that has memories from my past.
Seeing family regularly
I love that I get to see my mom everyday! If you are super close with your family, you will also appreciate the fact that you still get to have family time while you’re in university. Especially during those times when you need to talk or vent or are feeling incredibly stressed, you’ll feel better knowing that the people who know you best and love you the most are just over in the next room.
Harder to make and maintain friends
Spending first year in a dorm allows people to hang out, bond, and build strong relationships, but when you commute, it is much harder to do so. Conflicting schedules and living far away from the friends you’ve made, can cause both you and your buds to be reluctant to spend additional time in the city. As a result, friendships may not become as strong as you’d like. Of course, maintaining relationships is totally up to you, but it is definitely harder when you aren’t in close proximity to them or the school.
Early mornings and late nights
This is definitely the worst part about commuting. My old high school is 15 minutes away from my house. When I was a student and school finished at 2:15, I could bolt and be home by 2:30. HOWEVER, when I finish school at 2 downtown, the earliest I can get home is 4pm. And that absolutely sucks. You can only imagine what that means when I have an 8am class (hint: I usually have to wake up at 4:30!!!!!!!!!!)!
Forcing yourself to get involved
When you commute, many times you just want to get home right after class. And it’s understandable; some trips can be up to two hours, as stated above. It’s much easier living steps away from campus, and knowing you can scurry on home after a meeting, practice, or even a workout session, and still have enough time and energy to do schoolwork. Getting involved is a huge aspect of the university experience, so as a commuter, you’ll likely have to manage your time more efficiently, and force yourself to join a club, or attend a mingling event.
I’m sure there are many more pros and cons you will discover if you end up commuting, but just know that Ryerson is an amazing school, and you’ll find ways to have the best experience possible, regardless of your distance away from campus.
Do you plan on commuting?