My Life As a Rowan University Commuter

Nene leans against her car outside of the Victoria building.

Today we feature senior Nene Diallo, a Public Relations major and commuter from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County). She shares her experience after commuting for four years at Rowan including getting out of her shell to involve herself on campus.

Why did I commute? I live close to Rowan, I didn’t think it was necessary to live on campus until I realized I’m kind of missing out on my college experience (I’m currently working on that). I also like living with my family at home, they keep me going and support me as well.

Involvement? I’d say it’s been the greatest challenge I faced in college. My first two years, I didn’t do much. I wouldn’t even stay after school to do homework or attend an event, I’d either go home or to work. My junior year I realized I needed to change this habit, especially as a Public Relations major, networking and involving myself at school is very important.

I started off by joining a club and doing an internship class my junior year. It was kind of overwhelming juggling five classes, but it was worth the experience because it opened more opportunities for me.

As a senior, I decided to add just a little more to my plate, and so far I’ve done most things on my list. I attended a football game, a few events, joined clubs, interning with two programs at Rowan all while working a full-time job and being a full-time student. I’m sure most of us can relate to this and I like that it keeps me occupied and makes me feel like I’m really involving myself at Rowan.

Nene interviews a student.
Nene interviews a student for Rowan’s Humans of Rowan Instagram

Parking? It feels like a competition. I find it really funny arriving at school and eyeing with people for a parking spot and others eagerly waiting as well. I’d usually arrive in the mornings and wait for someone to come out of their spot because every space is taken. Sometimes I’d wait for a while; other times, I get lucky and get a spot as soon as I get to school. On most occasions, it made me late to class, so I’d park anywhere and hope I don’t come back to a ticket.

Friendships? I made just a couple of friends from freshman to sophomore year, that’s because I was barely at school and at times they’d ask me to hang out and I was most likely not able to. During my junior year I tried to open up to more friendships, but Covid-19 happened and everyone was home doing online classes.

I gave it another try this senior year, so far I’ve made some great friends and I’m still in touch with friends from freshman through junior year. Now when they ask me to hang out, I try not to hesitate. We out for lunch, events and sometimes I even plan ahead just to spend time together.

Nene waits at the shuttle while staring at the Rowan map
Nene waits at shuttle stop while staring at the Rowan map

Feeling lost? Probably all the time. After commuting for four years, I still don’t know where certain buildings are located, especially the residence halls. The only one I know for sure is Holly Pointe, you know the big building with the nice colors and stuff, and I’m proud to say that I know exactly how to get there. I would feel so weird still asking people how to get from one place to another, but I’m getting better at it. I know the main parts now, except for food places, it always gets to me.

Exterior shot of Holly Pointe.
Nene knows exactly how to get to Holly Pointe Commons.

Challenges? Making time will always be another challenge I face. As much as I’ve been trying to involve myself at school, I feel like I’m always on the go, I’m never not doing anything. Another challenge are some classes I’ve taken, they definitely took me out of my comfort zone. Can’t forget about the pandemic, the way everything shifted and we had to cope with the changes.

Overall? I’ve enjoyed my years at Rowan. My professors are very supportive and I can count on them to keep helping me throughout my journey. I used many resources to my advantage such as the Career Center, Writing Center, Wellness Center and Advising. I still like commuting, I like that I’m able to switch environments. When I get tired of being at school, I’d simply go home and vice versa. Rowan’s been good to me as a commuter, and I hope I continue to enjoy my senior year.

Nene posing at the bridge
Nene hopes to enjoy her senior year to the fullest.

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Story by:
Nene Diallo, senior public relations major

Select photos by:
Jack Maisonneuve, senior communication studies major

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