Which mode of transport is the best for college students?
In the depths of January, winter rages on- yet classes ensue. How will us college students get across campus safely and timely? Well, just as the sun rises over a frosted campus, students will rise and persevere. Which mode of transport will ensure the success of students in terms of efficiency, cost, and practicality?
One really can’t avoid this method. Whether from car to classroom or even bed to fridge, everyone must do it at least a little in combination with other modes. Luckily, we have evolved into resilient midwesterners over time, able to withstand hours of walking in bitterly cold temps. Walking is a reliable, last stitch effort when all else fails. The exercise aspect may be rewarding, but if you’re not able bodied, the slippery and uneven terrain can make commuting ten times more challenging. Finally, it is the most time-consuming and annoying out of all the options but builds character. (Running will get you places faster, but at the cost of your sanity) 7.5/10
In modern America, the automobile has turned from a luxury to a necessity. Our roads, parking lots, and highways are designed for cars. Our paychecks and promotions go towards affording and upgrading these symbols of status. But although coveted, it has many drawbacks. It is a huge responsibility and expense, especially for college students. Oil changes, gas, insurance, and all other maintenance add up to big bucks over time. In the winter we have to be careful of spin-outs and fishtailing, be wary of fogged-up windows, not to mention warming the engine prior to leaving. But despite all this, the convenience aspect is almost worth all its drawbacks. 4/10
A criminally underrated resource is the MATBUS system that runs on campus and throughout the F/M area. On the weekdays, you can easily get from campus to downtown Fargo within ten minutes. They have regular routes departing from and surrounding campus. Plus, it’s free with your student ID! If you have classes in Kai or Barry hall or are simply craving downtown brunch, the bus can get you there in a pinch. The only con to this is that it doesn’t run on the weekends and isn’t 100% reliable. For example, the route may be extra late or early depending on traffic, weather, and external factors. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the bus and use it to get to work during the week. 9/10
If you thought walking was great, get ready for biking; the same exercise and reliability but upgraded to be faster. Biking is one of the only modes that you can also do for leisure or as a hobby. Bonus points for being environmentally friendly. Unfortunately in the Midwest, it’s especially difficult to use during the winter months and sometimes impossible depending on snow, wind, and the availability of bike racks. But depending on how you soup it up you can tailor it to fit bags, luggage, or water bottles. Just please remember to be safe! Lock it up, use reflective material and wear a helmet. Unfortunately, many people don’t pay enough attention to cyclists. All things considered, biking deserves a 6/10
In the warmer months this is a great way to ride in style. Though it really is more for the aesthetic than the practicality, it can be a great way of self expression. It’s an investment, is very easy to be thrown off, and requires a lot of practice, but once you get over the learning curve and master the ways of the board you can cut down on commute time. 5/10
It’s like the bike’s cool uncle, same efficiency and advantages but with only one wheel. This will surely turn heads and you’ll definitely be regarded as a tubular bro. 7/10
This is the car’s annoying younger brother. Trying very hard to be swag and cool but only being a nuisance with its noise and mess. Not to mention how dangerous it is. 2/10
Expensive and requires electricity; just get a skateboard. 5/10
Your personal preference depends on your situation, as long as it gets you from point A to point B, it doesn’t matter. Note that none of these modes received a perfect ten; all have drawbacks and restraints. You may even need to combine multiple modes to be the most efficient, but in my opinion, the cost is a huge consideration as a college student so any way I can save money is a win in my book. Now go take the bus more often and save precious time commuting to class!