Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Having a car at university

Having a car at university

Hi everyone!

I hope you are well and are enjoying the first week of Easter break! For this week’s blog post I wanted to chat to you about having a car at university.

I have been driving now for four years with a Kia as my first car (which I had throughout college and during my first year at uni), a Ford as my second and I am now back in a Kia.  If I’m being completely honest I used to hate driving.  I used to avoid cities and would even try to avoid rush hour by arriving at college 45 minutes early which also meant I could attempt to park my car without everyone watching!  This meant that when it came to university in Birmingham, there was no way I was going to bring my car! There were many other reasons other than the fear of driving in the second largest city in the UK that contributed to the decision not to have a car during my first year at university:

  1. I was sharing Olly (my first car, a little white Kia – yes, he does have a name!) with my sister. This meant that I couldn’t take it to uni as she was using it to learn to drive.
  2. I was worried I would become “the driver” and have to ferry people around everywhere and I knew I would feel awkward asking for fuel money, as I know we are all students and money can be tight.
  3. I was living in The Maltings so everything from the station and shops to uni and the clubs were a walk away.

I will admit that there were times when I felt very lazy and didn’t want to walk to the station with my heavy suitcase so did use Uber, however it wasn’t very often because as I said before, everything was a walk away so I tried not to use them unless I had to. It wasn’t until moving into a house in my second year where I felt the need for a car.

I am currently staying in a student house in Edgbaston, meaning things are still a walk away, but just a lot further of a walk.  University isn’t too bad at 20-30 mins, Morrison’s is also a mere 15-minute walk away. However, places like the station, the Bullring, clubs/pubs and even the Maltings to get to cheerleading late at night are some routes I don’t feel comfortable walking due to the time of day or the distance.  It was during the first few months that I was spending way too much on Uber going to and from places. After landing a job in Redditch, I knew I needed a car as train and taxi fares were far out of my budget. So I bought a little Ford – Ben which was later replaced by a Kia – Simon.

Now I have a car at university, I wouldn’t go back.  I love that I am able to simply get in my car and drive home when I need instead of having to wait for a convenient train time and arranging taxis etc. I can go to my favourite superstore (Tesco) and not have to worry about the long walk with hundreds of bags. I am saving so much more money when going to cheerleading as I can drive and pay £4.00 for parking a week as opposed to £20.00 in an Uber a week. And, I haven’t found myself being “the driver” as I have been strict from the start.

I would say that having a car can be tough at university as it is an extra cost you have to account for, especially when thinking about fuel or if something were to go wrong with the car.  However, it has helped me make an extra step into the world of life and I have learnt more about what you have to deal with in adulthood that will help me in the future.

I am glad I didn’t have a car in first year as I don’t think I would have used it, but now I am in second year and living slightly further out, I am glad I have one.

I hope you found this post helpful.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment!

Jessica x

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