It wasn’t until I got to Elon that I realized not knowing how to drive would significantly hinder my life. Though I knew there wasn’t extensive public transportation or a walkable city like I was used to in New York, I figured I would just cross that bridge when I got to it. Well, I’m here now, and I’ve been standing on it for the past three semesters.
Elon is unique in that the university allows freshmen to have cars on campus, unlike many other schools. So, at first, it seemed like I was pretty alone in my inability to get off campus on my own. I felt like I was tethered to an island while everyone I knew could come and go as they pleased.
But I came to realize there are a lot of people who don’t bring a car with them to campus — though, most of them do know how to drive. Finding other people who also did not have a way to get off campus showed me I was neither stranded nor alone. I learned it was OK to spend a lot of time on campus.
If you do need to go places off campus and you want to go on demand, you’ll definitely need to find a very accommodating friend with a car. Until then, become acquainted with the limited hours and run time of the Elon Express. Or, you can call a cab with a rideshare app, though you should know that drivers can be few and far between and may take 15 minutes to get to you.
Going to Elon and not having personal transportation has taught me patience. Waiting for buses, Ubers and friends was a part of that. Most of all, I learned that it’s okay to rely on other people, but also how and when to be self sufficient. Now, being at Elon without a car isn’t all that bad — but I’m still going to learn how to drive and save up for one.