Feeling Stranded on Campus?
In this DormEssentials blog we recount dealing with the feeling of being stranded if you don’t have your own car on campus. With all the fun activities involved in college life, having transportation is key to exploring around you.
Maybe it was the lack of a MTV special on your 16th birthday that kept you from having a car when you arrived to college. Or maybe—more realistically—it was because your school doesn’t allow for freshman to have vehicles (how do they control this anyways?). No matter the reason, you shouldn’t feel trapped on campus. Sure, you could take an Uber or Lyft whenever you feel the cabin fever building, but the cost will add up and create a dent in your beer and “fun-costumes for theme parties” budget. Save that money. You’ll need it more when you’re a senior. And even more so when you’re out of college. Before you throw in the towel and accept the handcuff to your campus, here are some other options to explore:
If you live in a college town or go to a school built right into the hub of everything, this one might already be you. All the stores you need (AKA Target) are within walking distance, if not already built onto the campus. It’s never too early to start working off the Freshman 15, so walk a few blocks to pick up your hangover burrito. Always remember to be aware of your surroundings—which includes not walking into traffic as you scroll through Instagram. Get your friends on board with this and you could all start the post-party story shares before even arriving at the brunch location (most likely Starbucks).
Bike / Longboard
The big campus’s can have painfully long trips from dorm to classroom. Shorten the misery and give yourself more time to sleep for the morning classes by getting yourself a bike or longboard. While longboards are generally not allowed on campus, and will generally lead you to fall infront of your peers atleast once during the semester, they are a great way to get around. They are also potentially a cheaper alternative then constantly taking a bird or other smart scooter! For those taking the more reserved route, beach cruisers are the way to go. Just remember to get your lock!
Public transportation gets a bad rap, but at the end of the day, most US deaths are not on buses. Plus, learning how to use the bus system works a part of your brain you probably let turn to mush. Being able to read a map will literally get you further in life than someone who is dependent on their phone. Becoming familiar with your surrounding areas / the streets around you will ultimately get you even more familiar when that car does materialize into your life. Bonus: if you ever choose to study abroad, being familiar with how public transportation works will have you looking like a confident jet setter rather than a nervous “everyone in this country is out to steal my belongings” wreck.
Train / Trolley
A personal college favorite for my friends and I, as we were drunk most of the times we utilized the trolley. This isn’t an excuse to be belligerent in public, as that’s not only illegal but also rude and makes you look like a total try-hard. Utilizing this handy service can get you to the tailgate and back all while avoiding a DUI. Even if you’re in the sober category: sometimes it’s nice to not have to worry about whether or not you missed your turn, because this bad boy is literally built on a two-way rail.
At the end of the day, there might be some locations where you absolutely need a car to get around, and if you don’t have one, it’s time to buddy up all in the name of saving the environment. But don’t be a mooch. Offer to throw some gas cash (or Venmo as the kids are doing these days) to the one driving, or offer to buy their next coffee. They don’t have to know that coffee is being bought on your fake college meal plan money! Just make sure they are a safe enough driver.