Hear it straight from recent YCP commuters, as told to our YC Magazine!
Misty Parshall '15, Secondary Education-Mathematics major, Dover, PA
Misty Parshall's '15 decision to come to York was influenced by the positive experiences of her two older sisters Melody '10 and Mandy '11, but she definitely owns her choice. "I skipped my senior year of high school and commuted to York College," she said, "but I still looked at other options before enrolling here. I decided to come here because I liked it."
A member of three athletic teams – track, indoor track, and cross country – Parshall arrived on campus early in the morning and typically stayed until 9 or 10 p.m. throughout the academic year. Her days were filled by early-morning or late-afternoon practices, classes, and work as a math tutor, a classroom mentor (who holds exam review sessions and tutors students in Calculus II), and a tutor for local high school students. "My mom says I only come home to sleep," she joked.
Parshall had friends on campus and spent time – including dinners and study sessions – with her teammates. She also participated in the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, and was very involved with her church. "That's an advantage of commuting," she said. "I can still participate in the activities around home that are important to me."
Parshall planned to get her Master's degree in Education – maybe at York College – and teach in the local region. Getting an education degree from York, she believes, ensured a number of opportunities. "As an Education major, I came to York because of the strong program, which is pretty well-known in the area. York has taken the time to build a relationship between our Education department and nearby high schools and elementary schools."
Asra Khan '15, Biology major, York New Salem, PA
Asra Khan '15 was attracted to York College's "amazing Biology program." She also appreciated the college's strong relationship with York Hospital, which would provide her with opportunities for internships and volunteer experience in the health field. And she couldn't ignore the college's tuition, which is "amazing for a private college."
Khan made connections inside and out of the classroom that made her feel a part of the college. She regularly attended group study sessions for most of her classes, and she was parliamentarian of the Commuter Club (a good platform to make connections with other organizations), a tutor and lab assistant for Chemistry, Public Relations Chair of the Pre-Med Society, and a sophomore senator in Student Senate. "I like dedicating time to various organizations, which helps me stay involved with the college and community," she said.
Khan also spent a great deal of her time hanging out with resident students in the dining center and at student organizational activities." I know the area well, so I've taken my out-of-town friends to various local spots," she said at the time. Although Khan spends most of her time on campus —"I live seven miles away, but why go home when there's so much to do here?" — she does like the opportunity to "catch a break" at home when she needs a place to relax.
Khan's plans for the future – medical or optometry school – will give her the chance to move away from home. For now, she is completely happy with her commuting experience. "People who feel like they're missing out are those who don't get involved," she said. "Through being actively involved on campus, I've met so many different types of people and have gained experiences that I will always remember."
Keith Wiley '14, International Relations major, Red Lion, PA
Keith Wiley '14 had every intention of going away to college, but a spring visit to York College during his senior year of high school changed his mind. "The facilities were attractive, as well as the grounds," he said. "The atmosphere was welcoming, and each conversation I had – whether with student, faculty or professor – was engaging and enjoyable. With this experience in mind, and knowing it was a viable and growing institution with an MBA Program and many options for majors and minors, I knew where I belonged."
As a commuting student, Wiley played an important role in the life of the College. A member of the Student Senate, he represented the organization – and his fellow students – on the Presidential Search Committee and on the Academic Senate (faculty governing organization) Student Welfare Committee. He was also a student intern at the Information Technology Help Desk, chair of the Student Senate's Student Services Committee, Vice President of the Model United Nations student organization, and an Orientation Leader.
"The key to my feeling connected was getting involved," he said at the time. "As I grow, in many ways, the college also grows. Being involved with committees, organizations, and especially clubs, allows me to connect and express myself in boundless ways. Through such involvement, I have made close friends, professional friends, and developed relationships with professors and administrators."
Wiley has some good advice for current and prospective commuting students: "Just get involved in any way possible!" He suggests seeking a job on campus, joining one of the 90+ student clubs and organizations, and attending campus events. "In the end, it is all about being open-minded and willing to explore and seek things out that are of interest to you," he said. A final hint from Wiley: "Eliminate the perspective that a commuting student typically comes and leaves the College like a job, because at York this is not the case at all! Opportunity is there, just reach for it."