by Dawn Handschuh, Marketing Department
If you’re like most 16-year-olds, you probably lost no time in getting your learner’s permit once you became eligible to do so. Learning to drive and getting your first car is practically a rite of passage these days. Whether you saved money earned from doing odd jobs, got some help from mom and dad or took out a car loan, buying your first car was no doubt a high point in your adult life, signaling a newfound sense of freedom and independence.
Soon you’ll be headed off to college. While it may be tempting to bring your wheels with you, there are several compelling reasons not to.
1. You’ll have little reason to leave campus.
Many colleges and universities today function like small, self-contained cities. When you’re not busy attending classes or studying for exams, there are plenty of social activities, sports and entertainment options available right on campus. You’ll likely eat and sleep on campus too, making it totally unnecessary to ever leave!
2. Owning a car is expensive.
Remember, the costs of car ownership extend far beyond the purchase price. Your expenses will include car insurance, motor vehicle fees, gas, routine maintenance and the occasional car repair. You may also have to pay campus parking permits and, in some states, car taxes.
3. There’s not enough parking space.
School policies vary, but many colleges and universities discourage students from bringing their cars with them because parking may be limited. Even if you do purchase a parking permit, it may still be a headache to find a parking space because some schools routinely issue many more permits than there are spaces or because some drivers illegally park in designated spaces without a permit.
4. A car can detract from the college experience.
While you may have grown accustomed to driving everywhere as a teenager, continuing to do so at college can really detract from your college experience. Sitting in a car isolates you from other students. Just knowing that you have a car may encourage you to run off campus on various errands that you wouldn’t otherwise do. What’s more, longer absences from school can affect both your social life and the amount of time you can devote to studies.
5. There are many other options available to you.
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The truth is, many large universities provide free shuttle bus service to help students and teachers get from one end of campus to the other. Free bus passes as students from the University of Wisconsin Madison have or reduced-fare transit passes such as students at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania take advantage of, may also be an option for students who live off campus. Riding a bike or walking are also great options that encourage interaction with other students. So, get some fresh air and exercise!
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College is a special time in your life and for many, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t miss this opportunity to fully immerse yourself in campus life. By doing so, you’ll also save considerable expenses at a time when you’re likely already challenged by other costs associated with your education.
Would it be easy for you to part with your car when you enter college?