During Orientation, make sure that you get to know several residents. It's going to be more difficult getting to know them as the semester goes underway. You'll see them in your classes, but it'll be hard to strike a conversation since technically you don't know each other...and hasn't had the opportunity to do so.
I commute from Long Island and I don't think I'm missing out. Though some would say that I am, and that I just don't know what I'm missing. Do try to be involved in school events or functions, though you don't absolutely must do so in order to have a social life. If you're friendly to everyone you come across, you'll eventually make some friends even if you have to dash off by a certain time to make the train.