One of the biggest decisions to make when sending your college Freshman to school is whether or not they should have a car on campus. Some campuses do not allow Freshman to bring cars. If your school allows Freshmen to have cars on campus, this should definitely be an in depth discussion you and your child have weighing the pros and the cons.
Initially I wanted our daughter to have a car on campus so she could drive home when the opportunities presented. I also wanted her to have the freedom to go to the store if she needed to. I thought she may go crazy not driving for months on end. So we did some research. She talked with friends and listened to their opinions. My husband and I talked to a few people and read different perspectives. In the end, we decided it was best that our daughter not have a car on campus her Freshman year. Here are the reasons why:
- She was living on campus and could get all places she needed to go on foot easily. We also felt it would force her to be more involved in campus life. When she wanted to go to a store or restaurant off campus she would ask a friend or call an Uber. She really liked Uber.
- The first year of college is a huge adjustment. It doesn’t need to be complicated with the additional responsibility and worry of a car. Most students are in a new town and will not know their way around. Let them get acquainted the first year and settle in.
- Parking permits are expensive! Most kids with cars on campus only use them for the occasional trip to the store or trips back home. The cars sit and collect dust which may lead to some maintenance issues. Parking near classes is often limited and fills up quickly.
- Many campuses are designed more for bikes and pedestrians. They offer various public transportation options when students want to leave the campus.
- In our case, the drive between home and school was longer and unlike any drive she had taken prior. We wanted her to gain more maturity and cross that bridge later. We made round trips to pick her up if needed for the holidays. Sometimes she rode home with friends. That wasn’t any easier on my nerves though! I don’t know when that will get easier. I say a thousand prayers when my kids are on the roads.
- It was good that she couldn’t just come home when she wanted to. Although I would have loved it, this gave her time to grow and learn to be on her own.
- She would not be the one asked for rides here and there constantly.
- She planned to take a job on campus.
I wish you well as you contemplate whether or not your child will have a car on campus. What have you decided and why? I’d like to hear below in the comments.