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Growing Close in Tight Spaces: The Infamous College Road Trip

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Freshman year, it would be a terrible mistake to never engage in the late night, slightly stupid, college road trip, especially with people you’ve known for only a few days. In just a few, very long hours, those strangers you embarked on your great adventure with become people you probably know way too much about. And that is why the college road trip is one of the best ways to get to know people in the shortest time possible. I implore you to go do it at least once, and this is the guide on how to do it.

First, find random strangers and convince them that this road trip is a fantastic, definitely well planned out, idea. These strangers can be found at a variety of locations during the move in weeks at college. So, you should visit the most populated areas to find these soon to be friends and these areas include soccer fields, basketball courts, coffee shops, dining halls, or even libraries. Once you’ve struck up a good conversation with them, throw out the outlandish idea of road tripping and more often than not, many college freshmen are desperate for experiences and will agree to come with you.

Next, develop a broad plan for the road trip and consult said strangers. Figure out a destination, the time at which this travel will be occurring, if there are any specific things anyone wants to see, just some of the logistics.

Once this has been determined, honestly you just have to go on the trip. Part of the adventure is the unexpected surprises along the way, and you must embrace these things and go with the flow.

During the trip, it is guaranteed that deep, intimate conversations with occur. Heck, you’re literally cuddling up next to random 18- to 19-year-olds who are just as lonely as you are, and just want someone to talk to them. So, you’re going to have to get comfortable with quick vulnerability as the exhaustion and hunger break down both barriers and boundaries.

In the midst of the mutual suffering that comes with sitting in a hot, stuffy, smelly car for an exhaustive amount of time, just to see usually lack luster sites, you’ll find solace in the comfort of strangers who share this similar love of experience and adventure. You’ll likely go through all your emotions as the frustration of changing plans, the sadness of shared stories, the happiness of reaching your destination, and the worry of impending due dates fills your head but thankfully, those few strangers can relate and understand in a way that they usually wouldn’t on a normal day. A road trip forces the unknown to become known, because how can you not grow close to one another when you are quite physically close in the back of a friend’s Toyota Corolla.

If you want to make some quick friends and have a story to tell about “that time we drove at 3 in the morning to see the sunrise at the Grand Canyon”, you have to go on a road trip your freshman year. It’s a memory you’ll never forget.

Hi! I am Savannah Miles! I am from Seattle, Washington, and I am a senior history major at Grand Canyon University. You can often find me reading a book from my extensive Goodreads list, going on walks across campus, rock climbing and hiking, or hanging out outside while writing and drawing.