A Day in the Life of Gordon College Commuter Students 

Residential students who live on campus are not the only type of student who calls Gordon College home. Gordon offers a variety of resources and commuter student programs for those who live off campus, encouraging them to get plugged in and learn to thrive as essential members of the community. We sat down with two current commuter students at Gordon to ask them about their college experience.  

What Does a Typical Day Look Like for a Commuter Student? 

Pano Vlismas ’26 is a political science and history double major. He lives in and commutes to Gordon from Peabody on the North Shore of Massachusetts, about 15 minutes from campus. As a busy and involved underclassman, Vlismas’ schedule looks different every day. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, he attends chapel in the morning and then classes for the rest of the day. His Tuesdays and Thursdays are a bit slower, and he usually ends these days by hitting the gym after classes with a friend.  

In between classes and campus events, commuter students like Vlismas can hang out and study in the many student spaces available on campus. “If I would have to call one place home, it would probably be Jenks Library,” he says. “If I need to do work, and I can’t focus at home, I just come right here.”  

Alaynah Raymond ’24 is a music and vocal performance major and a commuting senior from Boston. She usually keeps her stuff in the Commuter Lounge, a dedicated space and resource available only to commuter students in Jenks Library. “I end up spending a lot of time in the library, because that’s where the lounge is and where my stuff is, and I try not to carry everything in my bag,” she says.  

Tips for Commuter Students in College 

One of the most common commuter student challenges is feeling disconnected from campus life. At Gordon there is no shortage of great opportunities to get plugged in: join one (or more!) of Gordon’s 55 on-campus clubs and organizations; come to campus on Saturday nights to attend largescale student events, like the Gordon Globes or Winter Ball hosted by the Campus Events Council; or worship with friends during evening Chapel services or Catacombs.  

Throughout his first two years at Gordon, Vlismas has gotten involved in various extracurriculars on campus, including writing and editing for the Gordon Review (an independent student publication on campus) and taking a leadership role in one of the politics clubs. 

“I remember entering college, especially as a commuter—I was worried that I would be disconnected from the people who live here, and I wouldn’t have as many friends. But that hasn’t been the case,” he says. “I’m very thankful that those clubs have been there to give me opportunities and that I pushed myself to go try out new things.” 

Unlike Vlismas, Raymond did not join the extra-curricular, student-run organization scene. Instead she has been quite involved with the Music Department. She served as a member on the music council during all four of her years at Gordon, where she helped coordinate department events with classmates from all grades. “I remember other departments seeing our event advertising and starting some related activities. It was rewarding to see this go beyond the Music Department,” she says. 

Benefits of Being a Commuter Student in College 

According to Raymond there are several advantages of being a commuter student. She wanted to attend Gordon College while also staying plugged into her community at home, and the ability to commute between Gordon and her family in Boston made this possible. “How I’ve stuck with that decision to commute and how I think it’s helped me in my success at Gordon is that I view it as a job to come to school. The separation of home and school is very defined,” she shares. “I think that’s helped me create healthy boundaries in my life.”  

For Vlismas commuting to a school other than Gordon, farther from home, would have confined him to an unfamiliar place every day. Commuting long-distance between home and school would have made it challenging for him to get involved in campus life. “Coming to Gordon and having it be so close to my home has made it accessible, and I’m able to come and go,” he says. “This has made it easier for me to do extracurricular things.”  

Come See What Gordon Has to Offer! 

Whether you’re thinking of living on campus full time or commuting from off-campus, Gordon has the resources you need to get plugged in academically, socially and spiritually. If you’re considering joining the Gordon community, schedule a campus visit today! 

By Maisey Jefferson ’24, English language and literature