Living off campus can free you from plenty of the shackles of on-campus living, whether it’s not having to deal with RAs, being able to throw parties, or having the opportunity to become a master chef. Though moving off campus definitely has its benefits, arguably its greatest downside is that it puts you further away from your classes and on-campus activities. Here are a few tips to help facilitate transportation while living off campus:
Do your research
Instead of resigning yourself to walking to class every day, go online before school starts and look at the transportation options available to you. Does your school offer a campus shuttle? Does your school issue free bus passes? If so, these are the sort of things you should look into as soon as you are moved in. It’s a lot better to walk 3 minutes to the bus stop every day than it is to walk 15 minutes to campus. Zip Cars can even be the way to go! Ford has recently began catering to college students to help them get around on and off-campus.
Plan with roommates
Don’t bring your car to school and find out the other three people you’re living with have all brought their cars too. First off, your apartment building may not allow for that many spaces. Second, it's overkill to have that many cars for four of you if your roommates are willing to lend out their cars. It saves gas money and parking pass money to work out schedules and carpools with your roommates and other friends living nearby. If you and your roommates all start class at 11:00 and you only need a car for driving to class, discuss the possibility of splitting a parking pass and carpooling.
Talk to your roommates about making trips. Don’t have four people all going to the grocery store the same week. Rather, just keep a list on a table or counter of groceries people want picked up, then have one or two people go out once to get them all. Help each other out as much as possible: if your buddy needs to drop off a paper on a Friday but doesn’t have any class that day, offer to drop it off for him if you’ll be on campus. Every trip to campus or elsewhere is a journey, so make it as easy on each other as possible.
The most basic thing to remember about living off campus and transportation? Think of you and your roommates as a team: it’s not just about how you can get around on campus and the surrounding area, it’s about how everybody can.