Commuter students share concerns about involvements

Michael Analco/Contributing Writer

With over 75 percent of first year students commuting to campus, getting involved can prove challenging for some students.

“Often times, I kind of felt like a ghost when it came to my family,” said Roger Capote, a senior majoring in biology. “I would show up at home late at night from FIU. And I wouldn’t have any interactions with my family. Whenever I would make phone calls to them, they would probably already be asleep.”

Capote is involved in the Center for Leadership and Service’s LEAD Team and Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. He also commutes from Miami Springs, which sits right on the county line between Dade and Broward county.

But for Elio Gonzalez, a sophomore finance major who is involved with Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and Relay for Life, the key is to not fall behind in school.

“Juggling school, involvements and commuting is really not that bad,” says Gonzalez. “As long as you keep track of your school work, which should be the priority. In the end that’s what you’re here for.”

However Miami traffic and FIU parking can be pretty unpredictable for him, just as for many other students.

“Sometimes punctuality can be tough because of traffic. I have to leave much earlier just so I can find a parking spot and make it to class on time. I live about 20 minutes away in Doral with clear traffic on the highway so it can get stressful at times,” Gonzalez said.

Angie Aguirre, a junior pre-med biology major, disagrees and thinks involvement is more dependent on each person’s situation.

“Not every person’s background is the same. Some have the free time to be able to get involved in Greek Life or leadership-developing positions on campus while others have to work multiple jobs while being full-time students in order to help provide for their families,” Aguirre said.

“I would love to be involved and get the full college experience but I’m in college to make my way into med school.” Aguirre told FIUSM. “I’m positive that having attended a few meetings won’t better my chance of getting into a good school. Unfortunately I can’t get involved and my drive from Cutler Bay makes it hard as well, but I’ll be fine.”

Capote would argue, however, that involvements can better a person’s outlook for future endeavors.

“Through my involvement on LEAD Team, I’ve been able to meet other pre-med students and I’ve been able to meet other people who have been able to tell me proper MCAT tips and what classes I should be taking as opposed to what classes and professors I should avoid,” said Capote.

Meanwhile Gonzalez thinks there’s a time for everything in college.

“I’m not as home as often as my mom would like. It’s mainly because of the fact that I prefer doing homework at night. I would try to get involved in more things later on but for now I’m doing fine,” said Gonzalez. “If I’m taking difficult courses then I may just hold back from involvements for the semester and then look for different opportunities next term.”


Image retrieved from Flickr, by Katy: