Posted on February 21, 2016

They See Me Walking, They Hating: The Perks of Not Having a Car on Campus

Student Life

Having a car on campus is nothing more than a luxury that not all of us are fortunate to enjoy. Whether or not your car door is practically rusted shut or you drive a set of hot wheels like a 2015 Mustang, having a car (or even access to one) is a privilege.

While at times it may seem like those metal frames on wheels provide a sense of freedom and independence that many without a car will never experience, the advantages of having a car on campus also comes with an equal set of disadvantages. Behold, the perks of not owning a car on campus:

1) You have to stop for me

Nothing is worse than leaving an exam knowing you failed…and then remembering you still have to walk all the way home. At this point, all of your friends have hopped in their cars and are speeding away while you contemplate life in the cold with your heavy bag. But wait! It’s times like this that you remember pedestrians always have the right of way. It is basically your duty to hold up traffic while you take your time to cross the street. Ah, sweet revenge. 

“When I’m driving around campus especially during the school day, there are always so many students walking,” says freshman finance major Carson Balogh. “Sometimes I have to wait for five minutes or more when students are fresh out of class. It’s a real pain trying to get from one place to another.”

2) You can be one with nature

With a car, it’s so easy to get from one point to another. It’s equally as easy to forget to pause and take the time and enjoy your surroundings. UNT is known for its beautifully vast outdoor scenery and iconic statues.

“As a senior graduating in May, I soak up every moment while walking on campus,” says senior journalism major Montreh Nariman. “I want to have a solid photographic memory so when I move away I can carry the moments I made at UNT with me.”

By walking, students are able to enjoy the day, become one with nature and possibly spot the infamous albino squirrel.  And technically you’re doing the environment a favor by walking. (Go Mean Green, amirite?)

3) You’re practically rich

No car in a parking spot means more money in your pocket. First of all, by choosing to travel by foot you are automatically saving money for gas. This Go-Go juice can be really expensive and tends to hurt the wallet of college students more than anyone else. You also don’t have to pay for a parking pass or ticket for a spot you probably won’t even get.

“The worse part is literally the parking,” says junior international business and HR major Teresa Aguayo. “Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a car so I wouldn’t have to deal with finding a spot and then walking back to my place.”

And even if you did manage to find a spot to slide your car into, there will always be that nagging feeling of whether you parked in the right lot, or an even more nagging question of, “Will I return to a bright yellow boot on one of my tires?” What a life!!!!

4) It’s not that far

Regardless of how long your walk may feel, it’s probably not as bad as you think. UNT is laid out strategically so that every building, every class and every dorm is within walking distance to stores, hang out spots and restaurants. Even people with cars find themselves walking to and from their apartments just to prevent the loss of a cherished parking space.

“I enjoy that everything on campus is within about a 20 minute walk in any direction of my dorm,” says sophomore computer engineer major Samuel Risley.

5) You don’t have to play chauffeur 

One problem that people with cars on campus commonly face is being a chauffeur to their friends. Those with cars find themselves repeatedly asked for rides and occasionally guilt-tripped into driving their friends around. Without a car, you don’t have to worry about people constantly using you as their mode of transportation. And just as important, you can avoid feeling bad for not giving rides.

Some will argue that the advantages of not having a car far outweigh those of having one. No matter what size of the argument you end up on, if you don’t have a car or a friend to guilt trip, there are some cheap alternatives to getting around.  You can easily download the Lyft or Uber app to get free first rides. These modes of transport are far cheaper than taxis. You can also look up the UNT bus schedule for more traveling info and routes. Having a set of wheels at your disposal should not make or break a person seeking to get around and specifically, getting around a college campus.

Photo by: Abby Pfaff

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