How Christina LaGamma ’16 is bringing a humanist approach to medicine and championing racial justice.
I commute from Inwood, which is a 20-minute ride straight down to campus on the 1 train. When I decided to attend Barnard, commuting seemed to make the most sense. If I’m from New York City and live relatively close, why would I dorm? Throughout my first year at Barnard, I was constantly asked, “Oh, you’re a commuter? What’s that like?”
Commuting is all about timing, which is something that, although it seems obvious, can be very complicated. Traveling to campus makes you plan every moment down to a T. I plan my class schedule, sleep schedule, work schedule, clubs, social outings, and workouts around my commute to and from campus.
Now that I am in the second semester of my sophomore year, I’ve learned how to balance classes, work, and extracurriculars with commuting. I like to structure my day so class starts in the late morning and goes until the mid-afternoon/early evening, followed by work, clubs, or events. This gives me the ability to spend more time on campus and do all of the things I would’ve done as a residential student, without tiring myself out. Throughout the day I like to stop by the commuter lounge (in the Diana Center), which is an opportunity for me to see friends and take a moment to relax. The lounge fosters a sense of community among a group of people with shared experience.
While commuting comes with its own learning curve, there are upsides: It allows me to participate in the Barnard community but also go home every day, see my family, my cat, and get space and time to myself, away from campus, which is something I wouldn’t change for the world.