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Getting Involved as a Commuter Student

As an out of province student, one of the toughest decisions I had to make after deciding to attend York University was whether to live on campus or to commute. Although the convenience of living on campus eventually persuaded me to stay close to York, I have often wondered how being a commuter student would have influenced my university experience.

If you are a mature student who commutes, you are part of the significant population of students who travel from all over Toronto and the GTA to come to York. From speaking with students who make the commute to York, it seems to me that a common challenge for many commuter students is difficulty in engaging in campus life. For example, meeting new people on campus can be difficult if the only time you have to socialize with other students is during classes.

One of the ways you can become more engaged in campus life is to get involved with some of the activities that occur on campus. York has a number or student groups and associations that welcome new members throughout the year. YU Connect, a hub for co-curricular activities at York, is an amazing resource if you are looking for ways to get connected. Another way to get involved is to connect with the college you are affiliated with. With more than 90 percent of students in each college being commuters, most of the activities and events that are provided by the colleges are designed with commuters in mind. If you are hoping to meet other mature students, you might want to join the York University Mature Student Association or the Student Association for Single Parents. Although the winter semester is coming to an end, keep in mind that there are always opportunities for students to get more involved at York.

3 thoughts on “Getting Involved as a Commuter Student

  1. You are so right. I think one of the most enriching parts of the university experience is building a social network. Even if you’re engaged with classmates on academics, the social component is vital to breaking the isolation that comes from keeping your hands glued to the keyboard, your nose buried in a book, and your eyes stuck on the screen. It is comforting to know we’re not alone, but its rejuvenating to get away from it for a little while with a laugh or some spirited conversation.

  2. well put michael! we are all, especially during exam weeks, a little less social when time is precious and our focus is on studying. i would love to return to school in september to see ACMAPS organize some meet-ups for mature students who commute but not limited to single parents. we all have unique reasons for returning to academia. my story is that i quit my full-time job and returned to university to explore a new career path. i think i saw one email last semester promoting a social gathering at a campus bar (please correct me if i’ve overlooked something). perhaps ACMAPS could organize something during the day to catch all those who have evening commitments or find campus pubs unappealing grounds to get to know fellow students. how about organizing activities based on interests such as playing board games, watching movies, playing sports etc. could a book club work? or seeing if commuters from same neighbourhoods would be interested in meeting up in those areas off campus. i’ve attended a few successful meet-ups in downtown toronto for example, organized by subscribers based on an interest i have in screenwriting. are there new initiatives ACMAPS could follow through with that would allow mature students at york campus the opportunity to interact with each other?