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The Tiger

The Tiger

    Do incoming Clemson students really need a car on campus?

    NICOLE CLAMP // Managing Editor
    Car file photo

    No. That’s the quick answer. As an incoming freshman, you will almost undoubtedly be living in on-campus housing. In fact, it’s a requirement of all freshmen; there may be some special exceptions, but for most of you, you’ll have to accept it.
    However, living on campus is not that bad: almost everywhere you need to go is within walking distance (walking distance ≤ one mile). From the Shoeboxes to the Watt Center or Daniel Hall, it only takes about eight minutes to walk. Put in some headphones and you’ll be there in no time. If you wake up at 7:50 a.m. with class at 8 a.m., you’ll make it.
    If you do happen to have a car on campus, odds are that you’ll rarely use it, except on weekends. My roommate this year had a car, but he never even thought about driving to his classes. Why? Because campus parking is awful. The lots that are free for students to park in are completely out-of-the-way on the fringes of campus.
    My roommate would usually park in R-3, and we affectionately called the trip to get his car “our trek to Egypt.” As a freshman rushing to 8 a.m. classes, you simply will not have time to walk to one of these lots, drive to class and then fight off-campus students for metered spots. It’s just not happening. Walking is the way.
    And if you don’t like walking, there are CATbus stops near almost every housing complex, along with the options of Tiger Transit. These are great ways to get from one end of campus to another if you are stuck in the rain, dying in the heat or just hate walking. These services also take passengers downtown and to other places you might need to go to in the area.
    If you are wary of public transport’s reliability, there is the option to sign up for ZipCar. They offer a great deal to new members, giving a certain amount of free driving time during your first month. Don’t want to pay for a membership? No problem — there are plenty of Uber and Lyft drivers in the area that are more than happy to take you where you need to go. These are perfect options for late night trips to Waffle House or Cookout.
    The final reason not to have a car on campus freshman year: you become everyone’s chauffeur. Once word gets out that you have a car, you instantly become your hall’s celebrity, and you have 20 new best friends who all want rides to different places. There’s nothing wrong with this; in fact, it can lead to some awesome new friendships, but I know my wallet can’t handle paying for the gas money.
    Living on campus without a car is survivable. Not only that, it’s normal for most U.S. college students. In fact, I’ll be doing it as a sophomore as well.

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