From the establishment of Boston College in 1863 to its present day state, there has been a decided evolution in the demographics of the student body. Most dramatically, perhaps, has been BC’s transition from a local commuter school to an almost entirely residential university.
As BC students today, we know little about how prevalent commuter students once were at the school. With roommates and friends from Minnesota, California, and even China, we assume that Boston College has always had such a diverse geographic reach.
To assume this, though, is tantamount to disregarding BC’s rich history as a commuter school dedicated to educating Boston’s Catholic students. Though BC has since greatly expanded its demographic scope to include all people and not nearly as many students commute to campus today, there is still a small population of students that choose to commute to BC.
One such example is Rakabe Abraham, MCAS ’19, who lives a mere 15-minute drive from BC, but commutes by train to campus every morning.
“In all honesty, it is difficult to commute here because I take the train,” Abraham said. “Lugging books back and forth and trying to make a 10 am class is hard. I wake up early every morning to pack multiple meals and get ready for classes.”
Abraham lived on-campus her freshman year, but made the decision to commute this year after consultation with her father. Abraham said that although it was initially tough to adjust to commuting, she understood that it was a smart way to reduce her college bill.
Though she was reluctant to commute, Abraham makes the adjustments required to succeed in the classroom when living at home look effortless. She has recognized that adapting to her tighter schedule by changing her study times and efficiency has markedly improved her organizational and time management skills.
Perhaps the toughest part of transitioning from on-campus living to commuting is finding time to see friends, but Abraham has found ways to remedy this challenge. In order to ensure interactions with friends on a daily basis, she schedules meals with them and stays with her friends in 90 St. Thomas More on some weekend nights.
“It is hard when I can’t just do what I want like last year,” Abraham said. “But, I have great friends who help me out whenever they can.”
Through the trials of commuting to BC, Abraham has found some definitive bright spots to living at home, the most important being the constant support of her tight-knit family.
“I am really close with my family, so it’s really nice to see them when I’m feeling tired or stressed,” Abraham said. “They remind me of everything I should be thankful for and it’s amazing to be reminded of that every day.”