Anyone who has ever attended a commuter school or community college will tell you that the experience is different. Don’t take this as meaning the experience is negative or boring, it’s just different and for a lot of people, those differences are for the best.
In my opinion, there is this unreasonable expectation to move across the country and somehow gain all this life experience, clarity, and freedom. People who do this may experience this in part, but it is not the only way. Frankly, I’m not cut out for dorms and being around people for close to 24 hours a day. It is mentally and emotionally draining for me. Being around people all the time is literally my living hell. In my experience, I felt the loneliest I have ever felt in my life even though I was around people all the time. I would make stupid decisions just so that I wouldn’t have to go back to my God-forsaken dorm and hear girls playing tag in the hallways in the middle of the night.
Later on in your college life, it’s common to find roommates and get an apartment, but even that may be too much for some individuals. There are so many people who are neurodivergent or introverted, and would probably prefer to not be in the company of their peers all the time. Personally, I deal with sensory overload and if I’m around a lot of people, or in a loud or distracting environment, sometimes I feel like shutting down.