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Campus commuter Buffalo State students list pros, cons of living in dorms, at home

As soon as that senior year of high school rolls around, students spend late nights pondering what they want to do for the rest of their lives. There are so many options that make the college selection process a lot tougher. You wonder: Should I stay in state or not? Should I dorm? Do I have to dorm? Can I commute? NeXt interviewed some students at Buffalo State College.

>COMMUTERS

Carly Cullen, 18, attended Leonardo da Vinci High School. She says she wanted to attend either Canisus College or Buffalo State College to major in education. She picked Buffalo State because, "I'm going for free, who can beat that?" Cullen did not apply to any colleges out of state. "I am very close with my family, I don't think that I could ever be so far away from them."

Cullen commutes to Buffalo State and said it would be a lot easier if she had a car. "I'm sure the winters ahead will be a little rough," she says. On an average day, it takes her about an hour to get to school by bus. "But it takes 10 minutes when I carpool with my aunt," she giggled. On those long days when she has a six-hour break between classes, she hangs out in the study quad, does homework and samples campus food. She has a deep interest in science and belongs to the campus geology club.
Freshman Lauren Cantie, 18, went to Clarence High School. Senior year, she was looking at Kent State in Ohio, Edinboro in Pennsylvania and Buffalo State. She said she liked Kent's journalism program but wasn't exactly sure what area of communications she wanted to get into. Money did factor in her decision, she says. Both Kent and Edinboro were a little pricey. Cantie also said that she couldn't have left all her friends. When Cantie went to Buffalo State's orientation, she knew that she had made the right decision, and felt that same relief after the first day of school. "You don't feel overwhelmed, it's not scary," she says.

Cantie is a commuter and glad about it. "Why waste the money?" she says. She says while she likes Buffalo State, she couldn't imagine herself living there. She said she needs that separation of home and school but does feel as though dorming does help in the area of social life. She also gets a little frustrated with the parking situation. "I have to leave an hour before my class even starts," says Cantie. She eats on campus about once a week. "The subs are really good," says Cantie.
Alyssa Kean, 19, attended Frontier High School and enrolled at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania for her freshman year but decided it was too far from home. This summer she began attending Buffalo State. Money wasn't the issue, she says. Kean says that she likes Buffalo State. "I'm undeclared but thinking about heading into the field of education," says Kean. She commutes to Buffalo State and said she disliked dorming with a roommate at Edinboro and not having her own space.
She said she enjoys driving but isn't too happy with the parking situation at Buffalo State. "It takes me about 20 minutes to find a spot," she said. She also is not too excited about winter approaching. On Monday and Wednesday mornings Kean arrives at school a little bit after 9 and is there until about 4:40 p.m. Alyssa said she does have a break in between classes and finds herself snacking on the subs sold in the Student Union. "The subs are delicious," says Kean.
Katie Sima, 18, attended Amherst Central High School and picked Buffalo State for its Early Childhood Education major. She was interested in dorming but because it was so close to home, there wasn't a reason to dorm. Katie says she misses the social aspect of living on campus. But there's an upside. "I get to go home when I'm done and I have my personal space instead of sharing a room with someone," says Sima. She occasionally eats on campus and says the food is pretty good. She also said that she actually doesn't have problems with parking. "Not bad, if you're early you can get a good spot, if you come late and get a good spot, that's just luck," she added.

>DORM RESIDENTS

Emily Greer, 18, attended Churchville Chili High School near Rochester and was drawn to the elementary education program at Buffalo State. Greer dorms on the campus. "I'm glad I dormed, it's a good experience," says Greer. "It's far from home but it's close enough to go home," she says.

While she said she likes dorming, "I dislike some of the people on my floor who stay up until 2 in the morning when I'm trying to sleep," she says. While "it can get annoying being around the same people," she says it's nice that there's always someone around to keep you company. As a freshman dorm resident, she had to buy a meal plan. "It's all right, better than eating nothing," said Greer.
Ernestine Belgrave, 18, attended New York City Lab School in Manhattan and applied to many places out of state, including Georgia State and Temple University, and a couple in state. She said she was also looking for a clean and comfortable campus and schools with big communications programs. She said she chose Buffalo State because it was one of the easiest places to get home from if she needed to. "It's far enough to have my independence but close enough to get support from back home," says Belgrave. She said that she likes Buffalo, but public transportation stinks. "New York City never sleeps, you can always catch a bus, train or taxi at any time of day, here you can't do that," she says. "Things close down so early around here."
She said she likes dorming because it's an easy way to meet new people. She also said that you learn a lot about working with others when you dorm. "It's part of the college experience. I have no regrets. A lot of stress, but it's all part of the experience. If I didn't dorm, I think I would feel as though I was missing out," says Belgrave.
"The food is horrible!" she added. She's involved in the campus Step team. "It takes a lot of time and dedication," says Belgrave.

Angela Hejna is a freshman at Buffalo State College.

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