Losing my set of wheels

The end of the summer means a lot of things. Just one of those is the loss of my car. My parents were generous enough to buy a car for the kids once my brother started driving, but that car stays at home. My sister is hoping to get her license in just a few months, and I’m headed back to college, so my beloved gold Intrepid will be out of my hands for a while.

But I’m actually not completely sad. Strange – I know – but part of me is a little relieved.

I really would appreciate having a car at school. In the spring, I looked into buying one of my own to take to Mizzou, but the parents weren’t fans of that idea. Although on a college campus a car isn’t entirely necessary, it would make things much easier. For one, I could get myself to and from school, making trips home more convenient for everyone and probably more frequent, because I could plan them exclusively around my schedule. I’d like to be able to visit friends at other universities, too.

Plus, my campus is large enough that a car would be helpful, and many of my favorite places to go – stores, restaurants, movie theater, mall – are only accessible by driving. I’m a Peer Adviser and a journalism major, so the frequency of car need just shot up. Most of my friends have cars, so yes, there are many around to be borrowed, but who really likes doing that? I hate having to inconvenience a friend by taking away his or her car for a while, plus I have to remember to pay them for guess and deal with my incredible apprehension about the slim chance that I get in an accident or otherwise inflict damage on their valuable means of transportation.

That said, a big part of me is excited to be done with my car for a while. I will miss the act of driving, which I honestly love. But, after facing an hour commute in heavy traffic three days a week this summer, driving has lost a little of its appeal, and I’m excited to go back to a place where I can walk to 80 percent of the places I need to go. I love being outside and taking in the beautiful campus as I get around at Mizzou, and I just don’t get to do that when moving at 45 miles per hour.

I’m also getting away from the other draining thing about my commute: scary drivers. It seems like a bad-driver thing to admit, but I’m relieved to have made it through the summer without a serious accident or ticket. This relief probably comes from the fact that I was rear-ended early in the summer, an experience that made me more nervous than it probably should’ve – but still. I see plenty of atrocious drivers on a daily basis and bad accidents fairly regularly, so I am definitely grateful to be getting away from that. When spending mere minutes in the car each week, instead of hours, I will be so much safer and a lot less likely to be caught speeding.

And lastly, it makes me happy just thinking of all the money saved on gas – or a lack thereof.

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