The decision to bring a car to campus during my freshman year was a tough decision. I wanted to be able to have it available whenever I needed to get somewhere, but I did not want to keep paying for gas. I had many conversations with my family and people that were already in college. This was one of the hundreds of decisions to make before the summer ended regarding college. I decided I was not going to bring my car to campus, but I would reevaluate after the first semester. Throughout my first semester, there were only about 3-5 times I wanted to go somewhere that required a car. Most of the time, it was random things from the store for my room. The little things like laundry pods and toothpaste were accessible to purchase in Campus Town, which is within walking distance. As it was approaching winter, I realized I needed to get new winter boots. Lucky for me, my roommate had a car, so he was able to drive me to East Peoria to find the pair I was looking at online.
I slowly learned that having a car freshman year is not something I needed. Anytime I needed to get somewhere, there was always someone I could ask on my floor or someone I knew in my classes. I decided to not bring my car all of my freshman year. Once it became my sophomore year, I decided against bringing it again. It saved me money overall, and I was still able to get where I needed to. Now that I am a Junior, I brought my car because I am living off-campus, and I am getting groceries every week in East Peoria.
Looking back, I was glad that I did not bring a car, but it’s something that does not hurt to have. I think it would have been nice to have a car always available, but I don’t feel it was necessary freshman year. There will always be people around you that will have a car. My recommendation for everyone considering bringing a car is to think about what you’ll need a car for and see if it is something the university or Campus Town sells. I found most of the things I needed were purchasable in Campus Town at CVS, Dollar Tree, or the POD in the student center. Also, consider if you think you will have a job that will require you to drive to work. One thing I learned, you can make a little money if you bring a car because some people will pay you for taking them places.