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Why Can’t College Freshmen Have Cars?

Why Can't College Freshmen Have Cars?

Going to college is one of the many rites of passage to your ever-increasing independence.

Not being able to bring your car to school threatens that independence – Many universities don’t allow their freshmen to bring cars to campus.

We were college freshmen once.

While not being able to bring that car you were gifted in high school to college may seem unfair, there are several practical reasons why you don’t really need a car freshman year.

Lack of Sufficient Parking

One reason why freshmen aren't allowed to bring their cars to school is to prevent campus congestion.

This is a big one.

I went to three different college campuses during my college career. The parking situation was so bad in two of them that new parking structures were erected.

But this is a very costly solution, it takes many years to recoup the expenses.

Since most college students live on campus, everything is centralized eliminating the need to bring your own transportation.

Below is a list of the least car-friendly universities according to USNews:

  1. Georgetown University
  2. Polytechnic Institute of New York
  3. University of Wisconsin
  4. Boston University
  5. DePaul University (IL)
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  7. University of Pennsylvania
  8. John Hopkins University (MD)
  9. Loyola University Chicago
  10. University of California-Santa Barbara
  11. Yale University (CT)

To Prevent Campus Congestion

More and more students including you are arriving to college campuses each semester. It’s not just the lack of parking that’s an issue.

While traditional roads experience predictable rushes during the morning and evening as motorists drive to and from work.

College campus congestion is never ending. From the morning to well into the evening students and faculty rush to and from classes.

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This results in blocking of streets and overcrowding, which impedes foot traffic. Thus, causing some students to arrive late to class late.

Not to mention the impact this has on pedestrian safety.

Given these issues, other ways many educational institutions are reducing campus traffic besides limiting those allowed to bring their cars to school is by making public transportation like buses, subways and other local options more affordable and accessible to their students.

All of the college I’ve attended at the very least have bus systems that circumnavigate the campus at all hours of the day and into the night.

And the cost can be rolled into your tuition with a discount.

Encourage College Life

College freshmen should stay on campus to get acclimated to college life.

According to research conducted by Dr. Larry Rosen, professor emeritus at California State University, Dominguez Hills, the typical student is distracted for at least five out of every fifteen minutes they set aside to study.

Another reason why colleges don’t allow their freshman to bring cars to school is to keep you focused on your coursework and campus life.

Freshman year is distracting enough with acclimating yourself to a new environment; no longer being under the strict supervision of your parents; not to mention a new level of schoolwork.

All this can be overwhelming enough and trying to deal with the stresses of car ownership is just one more distraction you don’t need.

  • Below are five ways to keep yourself undistracted from study:
  • Establish a study routine
  • Create a to-do list
  • Keep open Internet tabs to a minimum
  • Allow yourself scheduled breaks
  • Break down your goals into bit size tasks
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To Prevent Sleep Driving

Sleep driving in college happens more often than you think. And it's more likely to happen to freshman as they're getting used to college life.

It’s more common than you think.

A study authored by Diana Dolan of Sleep Medicine Associates of Texas concluded that out of 263 students polled at the University of North Texas about whether they have ever fallen asleep behind the wheel.

17% percent of students reported that they have fallen asleep behind the wheel.

Of the 44 students that fell asleep while driving, 2.2 percent had an accident related to falling asleep. 67% precent of that had high level of daytime sleepiness.

What was the cause of their accident?

The students reported not having enough sleep as the result of their accident.

The point is freshman year has a lot going, which necessarily means that you’re not entitled to the same amount of sleep you were getting in high school.

This means that just like when you first received your driver’s license, the likelihood of you getting into a car accident your freshman year of college is higher than it will be as you gain more experience with college life balance.

To Sum Up

Having to go back to pedestrian life after gaining a few years behind the wheel may not seem sexy.

And you can view it as an infringement on what’s supposed to be your growing freedom. But you’re an adult now.

And practically speaking, from one adult to another, it’s only one year. You don’t really need a car your freshman year college.