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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
TO NOT HAVE A CAR
By Rachel Lubitz, George Washington University
When you live off drive-through Taco Bell and Diet Coke in high school, it’s hard to imagine yourself walking miles to get anywhere. But trust me, if I can do it, anyone can. Without a car on campus, you actually gain independence, because you’re relying on nothing but your own two feet to get where you’re going. Plus, there are some serious upsides of walking all the time, like using your daily treks as an excuse not to go to the gym. Eating three Choco Tacos in one sitting without an ounce of guilt feels pretty good, too. Not that I’ve done that. Most important, having no car keeps you safer and your wallet fuller. Since I go to school in a big city, walking is just what people do, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here are a few reasons why leaving your car behind when you go to college rocks so hard:
Who is that hot college student?
You’re extremely sweaty or extremely frostbitten, the lower half of your body aches and sometimes you want to cry because it feels like your legs have been amputated, but guess what? You’re going to look pretty hot. With a switch from your high school sedentary life to constant motion, you’re going to get noticeably toned in a few months. (Maybe not Beyonce-thigh toned, but hey, that would be freaky.) Walking everywhere does good things to your body, and if you finally accept the fact that not eating like a 15-year-old boy is okay, good for you! If you decide to go all 127 Hours and bike everywhere, you’ll probably look like a model in four weeks.
Not that this would ever happen to you, but sometimes there are parties at college. When the party ends and it’s time to go home, with no car you are not tempted to get behind a wheel when you shouldn’t. It is much safer to walk. With a lot of things that can go wrong in college, making sure drunk driving is not one of them is a real plus. Be smart in cities big or small and use the buddy system. And say one of your friends might have a queasy stomach; that situation is less problematic on the sidewalk than in the front seat of your car.
Food license, Part I
Walking gives you the best gift in the world: an excuse to eat everything. Because you’ve walked 18 yards to class and back instead of driving, should you eat that entire pizza? Yes, yes you should. That’s the logic of a walker and it’s pretty fabulous. But seriously, I walk to and from classes and work ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. This false sense of accomplishment and fitness is what defines my life. I’ve walked through sleet and snow and dead rats to get to the McDonald’s off campus. Because I walked, I can get like five Southern Chicken Biscuits, right?
Food license, part II
You’re going to save a lot of money when you’re sans automobile. No longer will you have to watch your babysitting money tick-tick-ticking away at the gas pump. Walking/biking gives you the great opportunity to lol at your friends for spending upwards of $100 a week on gas while you focus on buying really important things like nail polish and magazines. Or Ben and Jerry’s.
Public transportation is awesome
In a city like Washington, D.C., you have two cheapo ways to go long distances: the bus and the metro. Of course, there is the possibility of added “excitement” courtesy of your fellow riders, but again, use the buddy system.
Rachel Lubitz is a 2010 graduate of Countryside High and a former tb-two* student editor.
TO HAVE A CAR
By Alexa Volland, USF St. Petersburg
To know the feeling of having a car in college, picture a golden retriever with his tongue and ears flapping out the rolled-down window. Complete freedom. Having wheels definitely has its perks. For one, grocery shopping is a breeze. No more having to carry eggs in the rain, or deal with faulty plastic bags leaving milk splattered on the sidewalk. But the biggest advantage is how easy a car makes it to go home when the homesickness kicks in. Or, let’s be honest, when the laundry piles up.
The down side: Cars are costly. If you’re not filling up the tank with gas, you’re paying up to $100 just to get the university sticker that allows you to park on campus. (Let’s not even get started on how pricey a couple of parking tickets can be.) And, your friends WILL take advantage of this. Expect to become the designated driver for everything.
But remember those flapping dog lips! Having a car was great my freshman and sophomore years because not everything at school was within walking distance. Sporting events are really important for most schools, and being at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg meant driving to the Tampa campus to be a Bulls fan. Many USF St. Petersburg students have classes on both campuses, so having a car is a must.
Next year, however, I’ll be transferring to the University of Florida, where, even though it’s a much larger school, I probably won’t drive Ol’ Phoenix as often as I do now, because things are more centrally located. But hey, I’m sure Phoenix will get a workout when the laundry basket is full and my fridge is empty.
Alexa Volland is a 2010 graduate of Seminole High and a former tb-two* student editor.