Think outside your town

By the time this newspaper is set on the stands on the Oswego State campus and around the city Friday morning, I’m sure many students will be making holiday travels to their home to spend the weekend with their families.

Some are traveling long distances. Many are journeying to New York City, some to Long Island, some to Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, and even some out-of-staters. I, on the other hand will be making the very long commute home to the tiny town of Sterling—a 12-mile trek.

I know, I know. Whenever I say that, the usual response is “What? And you live on campus?” The answer is yes. Why? There are a lot of reasons.

When I was accepted at Oswego State, I knew I wanted to live on campus. The conditions for living home were just not favorable. Contradictory to what you might expect, my house is still not connected to the Internet in any way, besides on my phone. Most of my assignments are done online so that would cause quite some difficulty.

I also do not have my own car, so having my parents drive me here and back every day would waste more time and money than what I’d be saving. And as I’m sure you’re all aware, winter weather is nothing short of unforgiving in the Oswego County area. I’d rather deal with the struggle of walking between Campus Center and Lanigan than trying to drive between Sterling and Oswego in the numerous whiteout conditions that occur.

But those are just physical things. Those weren’t the first things I thought of when I decided to live on campus. I wanted to meet new people, put myself in a place I’d never “been” before; I say “been” because I often went to Oswego to shop for clothes, groceries and go to the movies. I come off as a quiet, reserved individual. But the truth is, I love being around people. Even if I don’t say much or anything, I’ll just sit there and listen. Coming here and staying here gave me the chance to meet a lot of wonderful people and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Above all, I wanted to avoid what people called “13th grade.” I felt like commuting, going to classes and leaving right afterward, would just feel like high school over again, except with strangers. The best thing about living on campus is that it involves both school and life. It has helped me grow in social interactions, take advantage of the many opportunities on campus, which would be hard to do if I commuted, and make a lot of memories with a lot of really good people.

Yes, I will owe thousands of dollars because of it, but money’s just a number and I will pay it back one day and that will be it. The good times I’ve had here will last in my mind for the rest of my life.