Not every student lives in the residence halls, and commuting students can face unique challenges. So freshmen students who commute to campus from any distance are assigned a commuter ambassador (CA). Similar to a residence assistance (RA), CAs help students adjust to life in college and can give tips on how to make the next four years the best they can be.
Here's some tips for commuters, by commuters:
- Make Ball State your second home
“You are a Ball State student just as much as anybody else, so make Ball State your home just like anybody else would ... make it your second home. If you just come to school and go to class and go home, it’s just like high school and you’re going to get nothing out of it. You’re not going to change or grow or be able to experience all the new things that Ball State has to offer,” Olivia Horvath, a senior exercise science major, said.
- Meet with your CA. They can help you talk to professors, meet people and give advice.
- Take advantage of things like the Activity Fair, because there are lots of things for freshmen to get involved in
“[My CA] has helped me want to get involved on campus and actually stay on campus more, and not just leave and go home … if you’re having issues and you don’t know anyone, just contact them because they’re there to help you, and they’re your friend more than anything,” Alexandria Hauke, sophomore social work major and commuter, said.
- Rent a locker in the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center to store items such as water, deodorant, a change of clothes and textbooks.
- Before starting classes, do a sample drive to campus. Take the route that you plan to take and find out exactly how long that drive will be.
“Undoubtedly, there’s always going to be unexpected things that happen, so you don’t want your first day of class to be that day when you’re like ‘oh, wow! That drive actually takes me 30 minutes to do; I thought it was only going to take 15 minutes to do,” Mark Holtzman, commuter advisor, said.
- Learn the shuttle bus system. There are three routes on campus- the Red Loop, the Green Loop and the Blue Loop.
The Red Loop goes up and down McKinley and the Green Loop goes to the apartment complexes and Scheumann Stadium. The Blue Loop is only available during the winter and goes through the central part of campus and into the Muncie community east of campus.
Holtzman said students can save money by purchasing a green commuter parking pass and taking the shuttle bus to class instead of buying a pass for the McKinley Garage.
- Check your email. It’s a great resource to find out about campus events and news
- Keep an umbrella and change of clothes in your car.
- Being early is never a bad thing: Parking spots can be hard to find, and coming early to class ensures you will get a good seat and talk to classmates before class starts
- Check the weather report before you come. It can influence what you wear, and in the winter it could influence what car you drive to campus.