An inside look at an outside life
I’m not you’re typical Creighton student. By that I mean I have lived off campus for all four years of “the greatest experience of my life.” When I made my decision to attend Creighton, I knew that living with my parents would be necessary to keep the debt manageable. This means a 25-minute drive to and from campus each day. Some people say saving the extra money is well worth it. As my college days come to an end, I’m not so sure.
Freshman year was definitely the worst. I remember spending long breaks between classes in Creighton’s Skutt Student Center. When signing up for classes I really thought I would want plenty of free time on campus. I quickly realized that was not the case and struggled to make it through those long days. It was difficult to find something to do to pass the time and friends were limited.
I met some very nice people my freshman year and I still talk to most of them today. It wasn’t easy though because the only time I would really see them outside of class is if I happened to be on campus. It seemed invites came late in the night and driving all the way downtown was hardly worth it to even bother. To no surprise, friendships made during the freshman year if college is crucial to keeping relationships that will last through graduation. I’m very thankful for the friends I have made and hope those friendships will remain as we go our separate ways in May.
A serious issue is getting no love from the administration. Only a small percentage of Creighton students live off campus; therefore, we always seem to get overlooked. Mainly I’m talking about bad weather conditions that cause dangerous travel. Creighton, and other universities, will not close for impactful snow or ice. I recall a few years ago driving to campus for one class in the middle of the afternoon after an ice storm. The roads were terrible. Spinout after spinout on an interstate that was more like an ice rink. I spent just a couple blocks on I-80 before I decided to hit the back roads. It ended up taking me over an hour to make it to my class. Just a couple weeks ago, a snowstorm caused an SUV to spinout right in front of me. I’m lucky to be alive. For the students who lived on campus, they just rolled out of bed and trotted off to class. Meanwhile, I was trapped in my car just hoping to have a life at the end of the day. Thanks Creighton.
Finally, the most difficult part of living off campus, managing a life that never changed much after graduating from high school. Many of Creighton’s students come from other states. They completely made a new life of their own without any prior commitments or obligations. Those of us who were from the area had to pick what was important in our lives. While I’ve been at Creighton my life hasn’t really changed much at all. I’ve kept ties with my high school and still volunteer for various events. I typically work 10 to 20 hours a week and at times I have even worked 40 plus while still going to class. It was difficult and sometimes it’s hard to say it was worth it. Have you ever thought negatively about the kids sleeping on the couches in student areas? Yeah, I was one of those kids that was overly exhausted. Any opportunity to take a nap was taken. I even took a nap once in my car just to make it through the day.
That all being said, here I am in my senior year preparing for graduation and looking for a job. I’ve calculated by the time I receive my diploma in May, I will have made over 2,000 trips to and from Creighton. That’s nearly 33,200 miles of driving which is equivalent to going cross-country 10 times. Although at times it was a pretty hectic lifestyle, every mile has been worth it.