There was never really a big need for me to have my own car in high school – my mom stayed at home so I could take hers almost whenever I wanted to. When I started looking at colleges and my parents saw my list of places to apply to, they gave me a choice: I could either go away for school and dorm there or I could go to school near my house and they’d buy me a car. The catch was that I would have to live at home and commute. I know a lot of people who commute and they love it but personally, as close as I am with my parents, I knew I really needed to go away and get used to being out on my own. So I went through the college application process, chose Nazareth, and was excited to start this new chapter. I became more apprehensive, however, when I realized that I would be on a campus over three hours from home with no means of transportation. What if I needed something? What if I miss out on things that happen off campus? What if I just want to get away for a little bit?
When I got to Nazareth, though, I realized that plenty of students living on campus don’t have cars of their own and just because you don’t have car doesn’t mean you’re glued to campus. We’re lucky to be in a fairly urban area with various modes of transportation which means plenty of ways to get around without having a car of your own. Even if you have a car, you may not always want to drive and all of these options work for you too.
1) Friends Given the ratio of students who do and don’t have cars, there is a good chance you’ll make friends who have a car on campus (of course, you by no means should be friends with someone ONLY because they have a car). My roommate and suitemates all have cars as do some of my other friends. I try not to bother them too much but I know if I really need something and they’re not too busy, they’re willing to drive me. Or, if they happen to be going to the store for something I’ll tag along just to get off campus a bit. As a person who’s not super big into asking for favors, it took a bit of time to get used to asking. If you feel like you’re going out with someone a lot, give them some gas money or buy them coffee the next time you go out. It all evens out and, at the end of the day, they’re your friends so they (hopefully) like having you around anyway.
2) RTS The Rochester Transit Service, our public bus system in Rochester, works with Nazareth to provide transportation for students to popular destinations around town. From Friday night through Sunday afternoon, rides to and from campus are free for students with their Nazareth ID and $1 at all other times. Nazareth is a regular stop on the RTS route too which makes things even more convenient.
3) Walking If you have some free time, Wegmans, Barnes and Noble, Chipotle, Starbucks, and countless other shopping and dining locations are a short walk from campus. (Read our blog on what to do around Rochester for some more on what to do within a walking distance of campus). I’ve walked there with friends, and even a few times myself, when I wanted to get away for a bit. There’s also an amazing dairy farm right down the road with delicious homemade ice cream. I don’t do a ton of walking in general since we have a smaller campus, so it’s nice to get some light exercise every so often and my FitBit always appreciates my effort. For more on what there is to do around town, check out Jeanie’s blog.
If I’m being honest, it would still be nice to have a car on campus and maybe at some point I will. In the meantime though, I can honestly say that I have not once felt “stuck” here or like I’ve missed out on something just because I don’t have access to a car 24/7. I’m really glad a chose a school that makes not having a car of my own manageable!