Northwest Missourian Opinion

Having a car on campus can be helpful to a college student, but it is by no means necessary for success. Bringing a car to Northwest could even add extra complications.

Most students have a license by the time they enter college, but some students do not bring a vehicle to campus. A U.S. News survey showed that only 46.8 percent of students brought cars to campus in the 2016-2017 school year.

Students may have a variety of reasons for not having a car on campus. The simplest one is that they don’t have a car or even their license. While the majority of students do, some just don’t have the resources or time to learn how to drive.

Even after obtaining a license, drivers must then find the funds to buy a car, pay for gas and purchase an insurance plan. Costs add up and some can’t afford it.

Some people choose not to have a car because they don’t want another expense added to the stress of paying for college. Room and board is already a big enough cost to account for.

Some universities such as Penn State, UC Santa Cruz and Vanderbilt, don’t allow freshmen to bring their car with them. Even students who own a vehicle won’t bring it to campus because they don’t want to pay $100 for a parking permit on something they don’t foresee using often.

With limited parking spots in the designated resident lots, some wouldn’t even want to use their car for fear of losing their parking spot.

Students living on campus have nearly all their resources within walking distance.

A wholesome college experience resides within campus buildings and activities, not behind the wheel of a vehicle. Less time spent traveling in an automobile means more time to engage on campus and participate in various organizations.

Various universities in big cities, namely Georgetown, John Hopkins and Princeton Universities, have zero percent of students bring cars to campus because the streets are very busy, according to U.S. News.

This means parking is scarce and they would have to pay high parking fees. At the bare minimum, a parking ticket costs $30, enough money to buy four Deluxe Chicken sandwich combos at Chick-fil-A. Walking or using public transportation is the quickest, cheapest and smartest option.

Northwest has a wide variety of parking lots, but students must make sure they aren’t parked in faculty-only lots. Also, students who use lot 59, by Bearcat Stadium, must move their vehicles elsewhere on home game days.

A car can be convenient when you need to get from the Center For Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts building in the span of 10 minutes, but it can also create unnecessary troubles.

Some students wouldn’t dare imagine life without their car. Perhaps they can’t stand the idea of depending on someone else. Having a car to themselves is a mark of independence, which some students just won’t surrender.

They might want to go home every weekend. After all, if they don’t have their car, how are they going to get around?

While having a car saves waiting time, Northwest Missouri State University offers transportation options that save students money in the long run. The Safe Ride Home shuttle system allows students to make retail stops during the day and offers late night rides to bring students home safely.

Students who don’t have a vehicle can still travel off campus without dealing with parking permit fees or the stress from not finding a parking spot.

Besides, not having a car means there is absolutely no fear of getting a parking ticket.

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