Cutting the Cost

Is commuting really worth the pain?


Megan Berg

Elizabeth Horinek, a major from Sublette, drives thirty miles every day to attend classes. Even though she misses out on some opportunities, Horenik says commuting is a smart idea for anyone trying to save money.

Waking up every day 30 minutes earlier than needed sounds like a pain for any college student. Add an early class to that scenario and a student barely getting five hours of sleep, to begin with, will avoid it at any cost. 

 Elizabeth Horenik, a biology major from Sublette, has chosen to endure this ‘torture’ every day. She says though, that there are many positives that come with living at home and commuting to Liberal for college. 

 One of the biggest reasons Horenik said she chose to commute was because of the cost. Her degree is a long process- eight years- and she was looking to cut costs for as long as possible. 

 The cost of her driving 35 miles up and 35 back every day is still less than living on campus because she lives with her parents. This way, she doesn’t have to pay dorm fees or for meals. Plus, she eats home-cooked food every day as well. 

 Living with her parents also helps her emotional needs. 

“I feel like I still have that support of my family to come home to. Commuting allowed me to ease into the pressures of living on my own,””

— Elizabeth Horenik

“I feel like I still have that support of my family to come home to. Commuting allowed me to ease into the pressures of living on my own,” she says. 

Having family around can make studying or getting work done harder though. Horenik usually stays on campus until she has all her work done even if it means leaving later than she would like. 

There are a few other negatives that can come with commuting. Students tend to make friends mostly through athletics and dorm life. Horenik talked about how she struggled to make friends because she didn’t live in the dorms. 

“Last year I did feel that I wasn’t making friends, and I definitely think that not having that dorm life was a big part of it,” she says. “I felt robbed for a while because of COVID and my lack of dorm life but this year I’ve made the most of what I have.” 

A piece of advice she would give to new commuting freshmen would be to join student organizations and enroll in performance and studio-type classes like art, band or choir. These kinds of classes allow students to interact and make friends. 

 Because of the extra drive she has to accommodate for,  Horenik has avoided any early classes. This has caused her to miss out on some opportunities such as this semester where she didn’t take Chemistry because it was an 8 a.m. class that met every day. 

Driving a long distance can cause difficulty making it to class as well. It was a major inconvenience for Horenik when she got a flat one day on her way to school and had to miss a chemistry lab. Icy roads and bad weather can cause commuting students to be late or have to wake up earlier as well. 

When circumstances like this happen though, Horenik says that teachers at Seward County Community College have done well at accommodating. 

“It seems when I tell them that I’m out of town, they’re understanding. Especially if they’re also commuting from out of town.” 

Even with the flat tires, Horenik would overall recommend commuting.