Having a car on campus is great, or is it? Your life can become much more convenient in some ways, and yet more stressful and inconvenient in other ways. It’s hard to say which is the better way to go, and it will depend on your situation and what you value. Here are eight pros and cons of having a car on campus.
PRO: Escape the campus bubble
If you’re a student without a car, you know the feeling of being stuck on campus. It can feel a little suffocating sometimes, and everybody needs a change of scenery from time to time. With a car you can leave campus and explore the city or town you’re living in. Maybe you’ll even go on a road trip.
CON: Driving everyone around
“Get used to being the go-to person when your friends want to go somewhere. Heck, you’ll probably make some new friends, but people who want to be your friend because of your car aren’t really your friends,” writes Clifford Nunez, educator at Assignment Help and EssayRoo. You’ll be driving people to get food and go for beer runs. It’s hard to say no; it’s not your fault you’re so darn nice. Oh, and it’s a virtual guarantee that people will ask to borrow your car, which is always a fun situation.
PRO: Go where you want, when you want
Cars can be extremely convenient. When you’ve got a car you can just get up and go when you feel like it, rather than timing things with the bus, or begging for rides. You’ll never have to worry about owing gas money or feeling guilty about mooching rides from friends. No biking in the wind and rain, just get in your climate controlled car and go. You get a real sense of independence with your car, and you do what you want.
CON: Maintenance headaches
“Welcome to the wonderful world of waking up to realize that your car won’t start, and you don’t know why. Or it starts, but it’s making that weird clunking sound, the one you thought had gone away for good. Unless you’re the kind of person who can do maintenance on their car, you’re going to be dealing with mechanics,” writes Eric Gates, college counsellor at BoomEssays and Academized. You’ll need to have an emergency fund set aside for repairs, and if you’re in a cold climate you’ll need to think about winter tires and boosting your car when its battery dies.
PRO: Walking becomes optional
Okay, so you’ll still have to walk, just not nearly as much. College students already do plenty of walking. You walk to your classes, to the dining hall, places around campus. At least with a car you can cut down on your walking and drive for some of the longer trips. Or maybe you’ll drive the two blocks from your dorm to the lecture hall.
CON: Dealing with parking
One great thing about walking, biking, and taking public transportation is you never have to worry about finding a parking spot. If you’re driving on campus you’ll soon find out how much of a headache parking can be. Public spaces can be very hard to come by, especially while classes are in. You’ll probably have to shell out a significant amount of money for a yearly parking pass.
PRO: Extra storage space
This isn’t to say you should live out of your car, but dorm rooms can be a bit cramped, so your car’s trunk can be home to a few boxes of stuff you don’t use very often. You can also leave stuff in your car temporarily, like your backpack or some textbooks, rather than hauling them around all day. If you play sports you can leave your equipment in your car until you need them instead of running home for them or lugging them around all day.
CON: Cars can be expensive
Gas isn’t cheap, and that’s an understatement. You’ll be shocked at how much extra money you have to factor into those decisions of convenience. Every time you drive to the store for groceries rather than walking, every time you sleep in and drive to class instead of walking or taking the bus you are paying for it.
Driving your own car on campus can be so convenient, and yet so inconvenient, depending on the situation. You’ll save lots of time and effort by not having to walk everywhere, beg for rides, or lug your groceries home on foot. But you’ll also find yourself dealing with new headaches that come along with having a vehicle.
Grace Carter is an educator at Assignment Writing Services, where she teaches grammar, formatting and editing skills.