Although Rowan University is located in the radius of South Jersey, students from all over the state of New Jersey and out of state seek opportunities to expand their knowledge, plus gain experience both academically and worldly. When many think about higher education, the cliches arise about traveling substantially far from home to seek a college education. However, plenty of students are just a quick drive away and commute to Rowan from the comfort of their own homes. Here are five commuter students who have found a way to make Rowan a home of their own, while not being too far from home.
Isabella Cristinziani is 20 years old and is from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County) which is only a 10-minute drive from campus. Isabella is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts/Graphic Design/Photography. Isabella is completely enthralled with her major and even works at the Rowan University Art Gallery while juggling another job at the Williamstown Farmers Market. When Isabella has downtime on campus she says she “loves to walk around campus and study on some of the benches.” She also loves to make time to grab a quick bite to eat at Saxbys or a quick drink of bubble tea at Vivi’s.
Although commuting wasn’t Isabella’s first choice when she applied for higher education, she’s found due to the risks and limitations that arose from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it was a great way to save on expenses primarily due to the majority of her classes being virtual for two years of her college career. Despite the limitations, Isabella has managed to stay involved on campus by working with several different art clubs located in Westby Hall and by acting as the head of photography for the student-run Gallery Publication. Isabella is gearing up for a new chapter as she is about to embark on her senior year at Rowan University and hopes to possibly rent a house off campus in the nearby Glassboro area.
Next up is Hailey Lindenborn who is 21 years old and is from Woodbury, NJ (Gloucester County), which is about a 15-minute drive away from Rowan University. As a junior student, Hailey is breaking down barriers as a first-generation college student, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Outside of her studies, Hailey currently works as a waitress at Country House Restaurant in Thorofare, but during her spare time when she’s in the Glassboro area, Hailey enjoys grabbing a coffee from the Rowan University Barnes & Noble Bookstore Cafe, snagging something to eat on Rowan Boulevard, and stopping by to see friends who live on campus.
Hailey says that she’s found “commuting to be the ideal way to still get the college experience that fits into her everyday life.” After living on campus for her first year Hailey found that living at home worked better for her, considering her job is substantially closer to her residence and as a way to save money since she now wouldn’t have to pay for housing. In her free time away from her studies, Hailey enjoys attending Rowan events, spending time with friends and listening to music.
Saniya Brooks is 20 years old and from Paulsboro, NJ (Gloucester County), which is around a 25-minute drive from Rowan University. Saniya is also a first-generation student who’s pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. Saniya keeps herself in the loop on campus by attending many of the business expo events which she says “allows her to network and receive key insight into what the business world is all about.” Saniya also likes to spend her free time on campus hanging with friends and she occasionally will grab a boba tea from Kung Fu Tea located on Rowan Boulevard.
Outside of her studies, Saniya works as a host and waitress at Cinder Bar located in Clarksboro, which is easier to manage due to her choice to commute to and from Rowan. Saniya’s decision to commute comes after spending one semester on campus her freshman year, where she made the executive decision that it wasn’t necessarily ideal for her to live on campus considering she’s so family-orientated. Nonetheless, after moving back home, Saniya has found she’s been able to save a lot of money by living at home where she can be with her family who she loves so dearly, while also still being able to fully immerse herself in her academic career.
Continuing on, we have Brittany Sylvester who is 20 years old and originally from Mount Ephriam, NJ (Camden County), which is around a 30-minute drive from Rowan University. Brittany is a junior student and is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. Brittany keeps herself involved on campus by attending the Rohrer College of Business events, which are commonly held in the Business Hall located over by the Edelman Planetarium. She is also a part of the Rowan University Dance Team, which is one of her favorite ways to stay involved. She says the team has many performances over the school year as they appear at football games during halftime, and basketball games on the sidelines, and they also performed at HollyBash last year.
When it comes to commuting Brittany finds it to be ideal, since it allows her to still attend school while also juggling the things she’s involved in back at home outside of her studies. For example, Brittany works at a few dance studios closer to her and she also has a small baking business, called Britts Baking Co. on the side which takes up a good amount of her time as well. Overall, Brittany wants it to be known that being a commuter doesn’t make university any easier. She addressed the stigma that surrounds this stating “Many think it’s easy to show up and go home, but Rowan has a lot of opportunities for the people who go here.”
Although not residing in residence halls or in off-campus housing in Glassboro, these four commuter students have still managed to find a home at Rowan University while also making their mark in their programs and in other student organizations, further proving that Rowan University is a place for everyone no matter how close or far you come from.
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Asiya Robinson, junior writing arts major