What's life like for UM-Dearborn student Autumn Tashman?

July 26, 2022

UM-Dearborn students take you into their homes in this summer series. This week, senior Autumn Tashman talks about commuting from Ann Arbor and having the best of both worlds — the people she's met on campus and the pets at home.

Photo of Autumn Tashman

Autumn Tashman, Actuarial Mathematics senior.

Her hometown: 
“I’m originally from Canton, but now live in Ann Arbor with my family. We moved the summer after my senior year of high school.”

What’s that drive to campus like:
“I commute about 40 minutes Monday through Thursday, and sometimes Fridays. It can be a challenge to drive to Dearborn every day while living in Ann Arbor, especially with gas prices as high as they are — RIP paycheck.

Even as expensive as gas is now, I’m still saving money in the long run by living with my parents. I’ve always been interested in numbers — before I knew about the actuarial science major, I thought about majoring in accounting. So finances are almost always a consideration when making decisions, and I’m making wise financial choices by going to UM-Dearborn and living at home.”

Living 40 minutes away and finding social connections:
“I’ll be honest: At first, it felt kind of lonely. I didn’t know a lot of people on campus when I started. I’d try to make friends in my classes, but socializing wasn’t as high of a priority to some people because they needed to get back home to study, head to work, spend time with family or whatever the case may be. So my distance wasn’t a big issue, but it felt a long drive to just go to class and drive back home.

That was at first. Then I learned about student organizations — and getting involved totally changed how I connected with campus. There are a lot of people like me who wanted a life on campus that was outside of the classroom; I just wasn’t looking in the right places to find them. I’m now on the executive board for the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. I do feel a strong sense of community on campus. Knowing that I come to campus for classes and to spend time with my friends makes that drive a lot easier.”

Where do you go on campus to hang out with friends:
“Either be the second floor of the Mardigian Library or the Math Library in the CASL building. You can balance getting homework done while having good conversations with friends.”

Benefits to living at home that go beyond finances:
“I have many friends living in dorms hundreds of miles away from their families, making me wonder how my life would be if I moved away from home. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I’ll have many years to be living away from my family and I want to enjoy time with them now. My dogs are also at home; many of my friends that live away from home can’t have pets. Living at home, you don’t have college parties, but I do have my dogs Echo and Ember greet me at the door when I get home. I think that’s even better.”