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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

Most college students are faced with this issue in one way or another. College is a place where many discover independence and what that looks and feels like to them. Having a car signified a certain level of independence that I believed was necessary while embarking on my college journey. It has not been as easy to accept that I am in my fourth year and still don’t have a car. At Bradley, you can survive without it, but it will not be easy. Each time I need to get groceries and necessities, or even explore life outside of Bradley, I am reminded how much easier my life would be with a car. Not to mention how pricey it can get when you do not own or have access to a vehicle.

I really enjoy grocery shopping. My ideas, creativity and budgeting always come in handy. I am inspired by the possible recipes I can make and amazed at the many cuisines there are. Grocery shopping is also a time of relaxation for me. I still do not fully understand why I experience such serenity while shopping. Going home to prepare meals is the most exciting part for me along with tasting the food.

During my sophomore year, I decided to use a ride-share service to go grocery shopping instead of placing an order to be delivered like I usually would. I arrived at the store at around 5 p.m. and spent a decent amount of time looking through the isles, choosing the items I needed for the meals I wanted. I needed more than groceries this time, so I spent additional time in the store. After about an hour, I started looking at the price for the return ride, and it was pretty reasonable. I didn’t have an alternative, so I had to pay regardless. I knew there was a public bus available but I was not familiar with the system nor willing to figure it out.

I waited and waited for a driver to pick up my ride, and after about 30 minutes of waiting, I began to panic. The first thing I did was call my mom, because why not? Even though she couldn’t pick me up, she could at least help me devise a plan and prevent further panicking. After talking to her I calmed down a bit, but I still had no solution. I waited for another 10 minutes and the only thing I could think to do was call someone I knew from a Bible study group. At the time we were still getting to know each other, but not to the point where my first plan of action would have been to reach out to them for help. There was a great chance they were not on campus but decided to call anyway. To my surprise, they were passing by on their way back to campus and were able to pick me up and take me home.

I honestly had not been more afraid in my life. Being stranded at the grocery store in the evening far away from home or easy access to transportation was tough. When you start school at Bradley make sure you take the time to evaluate what kind of transportation experience you want to have. Carpooling is highly reccomended if you are unable to have a vehicle for whatever reason, but if not, having a car on campus will help you more than you know. I have used the public transportation system here and I do not recommend it at all. Ride-sharing can be unreliable, and you never want to be stranded. Even though many feel you will survive without a car, which technically you can, having one will alleviate many unforeseen stressors and make your college experience much more pleasant, in my humble opinion.