I am 22 years old and I do not own a car. Let that sink in for a moment.
When I first got my license, my dad straight up told me he doesn’t trust me to have my own car since he was terrified of me being a new driver. Was this his way of keeping me at home instead of going out to places other than school and work? I am 50% sure of it. The other 50% of me believes he just did not want to spend the money on a new car, which is fair. Ironically, he did try to bribe me with a brand new car if I went to the local university so I could live at home and commute… I still said no. The system my family created was that my dad and I would share one car since his workplace was closer to our home while my mom keeps her car for herself.
I was 17 when this system was installed and to this day, it is still in place when I go home for breaks in between semesters. Like years prior, we sit together as a family on Sunday nights and compare our work schedules to see if trading off the cars works out or if someone (mostly either my dad and I) needs to get dropped off and picked up from work. I hated the system when I was in high school because it barely gave me any chances to take the car to hang out with my friends but I have grown to appreciate it, especially since I am not responsible for putting gas in the car and my dad does it for the both of us. When I am home from college and want to hang out with my friends, my dad lets me take the car as long as I pick him up from work when he calls me.
When it comes to being in Richmond, I am very glad I do not have a car. Because it is a city with poor urban planning, parking is always an issue and I am convinced the city makes most of its money from parking tickets. In addition to the horrendous parking situation, Richmond drivers scare the living hell out of me.
The need to have a car in Richmond isn’t there because I am lucky enough to know a lot of people who have cars. My boyfriend, my best friend and my old roommate all have cars. My favorite memories of living with my old roommate was driving to the nearest Panera for food and to Short Pump Shopping Center for quality roomie time. Whenever my best friend goes shopping, I tag along ready to give her honest advice or feedback on her clothing choices. I always thank God for giving me a boyfriend with a car because he will drive me anywhere and everywhere I need to go. There have been many instances of him driving me to Jo-Ann Fabrics right when they open at 10am so I can get some last minute things for my studio classes at 11am.
My main goal is to move to New York City after I graduate college so to have a car would be more of a headache than a necessity because of traffic congestion. Also, why bother having a car when I would be relying on the subway system anyways?
If you don’t have your own car and are bummed about it, it’s alright. I am 22 years old without her own car and I don’t plan on getting one until I am probably married and ready to have kids. If I can survive this long without my own car, it is possible for you also.