When you get your first car it represents freedom; the freedom to go anywhere and do anything without having to wait for a bus or ask mum and dad for a lift. The freedom to take off within moments and the ability to meet someone in 25 minutes, not an hour later after walking, cycling or bussing it.
Taking a car to university is exactly the same. It’s the freedom to pop to the shops when you want to without having to walk for 20 minutes there and 20 minutes back with all of your shopping. It’s the freedom not to have to ask your friend with the car to pick that stuff up for you from out of town places. You ARE that friend with the car and as every friend with a car should know, that means you are the absolute power broker whilst at uni.
Plus you’ll actually get to see your city, rather than be chained to the student quarter and town. You can easily get to the outskirts of town and visit those attractions that everyone else has a hard time getting to.
Don’t let people tell you that it costs too much or it’s too much hassle – you don’t have to use your car every day and with a part time job or even the occasional event from the job-shop you won’t notice that small fuel bill every month. At least your car is there with you, it’s an option; you don’t have to use it, but if you do want to go somewhere you don’t have to go through the hassle of booking trains, planes and automobiles. You can just hit the highway.
What’s the true cost of the power and influence you’ll attain by being the person with the car anyway? People will flock to you from miles around to ask for a small favour. You’ll have people queuing up to buy you drinks just to run them to the shops, something you were going to do anyway. So take your car, seize the freedom that those four wheels represent and become a power broker between friends and course mates.
It is a big dilemma; do I take my car to university or not? You really have to weigh up the pros and cons. As it turned out there were more reasons for me not to take my car to university, and here is why.
Most first years stay in halls of accommodation, and the majority do not have parking spaces, and if they do they are limited. I lived on a main road so there were definitely no parking spaces. Plus the halls I lived in had 99 residents, so even if there were a few there would have been lots of competition for them. Depending on where you stay in second year, it may be easier to bring your car with you as it may have more parking spaces available.
Having no car forces you to walk or get the bus. This was great for me, as I lived in the middle of town, so now I know the town well. This also means you get a bit healthier too by walking off all the booze and junk food from the night before. In addition it helps you get closer to housemates or course mates by having to walk with them to uni, or out to a meal and so on. Please make sure you walk in groups at night if possible.
In the town where I live, they have student discount available on the buses, and I have some friends at other universities that get free bus travel; so that is definitely something you should look into when applying for uni.
This is not always the case, but some people you know may just try to use you for lifts. This can be costly and generally unfair as you may always have to be the designated driver who cannot drink while everyone else can.
Last, but not least, having a car is costly: you have to pay for insurance, tax, petrol and for any other related costs if something goes wrong and it is has to go into the garage.
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