Friday, February 23, 2018

Open Space: Students can benefit from driving

November 1, 2017 by Liam Turner, contributing writer

Public transportation in Victoria is decent, but life is way easier for students once they get a car. Transit here is better than it is in many small towns all over Canada, where there might only be one dilapidated 1960s bus running from 8 am to 5 pm, but it has a long way to go. For Camosun students, especially those of us trudging our way to a campus across the peninsula, our time is stolen from us by this daily commute.

My classes start at 8:30, and, unfortunately, the Interurban campus is over 10 kilometres away from where I live, requiring me to get up at 6:30 if I want to have any hope of making myself breakfast and catching the Camosun Express or the number 8 bus.

This story originally appeared in our November 1, 2017 issue.

Judging by a simple check on Google, I could make it to school in 20 minutes by car (and I should say this to be clear: I am a car lover). Giving myself a conservative 30 minutes to get up, eat, take a shower, and get ready to leave, I can extend my sleep by an hour and leave my house by 8.

The return trip by bus is no better, since many of my classes end at very inconvenient times, requiring a wait of up to half an hour if I happen to miss a bus. I also have to think about all those times I spent busing home, bags of groceries in hand; by the time I get home and finish cooking and eating, I have a few hours to complete my studying and then it’s off to bed to repeat the process. We all have busy lives, don’t we? Here’s a way to give yourself some more time.

While we all know that cars are expensive, and not easy to afford on the tight budget of the modern student, you owe it to yourself to steal that time back. If you must, get yourself a rusty $800 Toyota Tercel (if you don’t know this car, let’s put it this way: it could be listed under the dictionary entry for “adequate”). If that doesn’t sway you, let’s put it into clear-as-day, cold, hard math: giving yourself a (conservative) time saved on transit each day by driving 30 minutes to and from school, you can get 70 hours of time back in your schedule in one semester. Imagine, 70 extra hours to either study or relax. 70 hours saved by not having to wait half an hour in the rain or cold just to bus home.

So for those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to live a five- or 10-minute walk away from campus, study for that road test, hit up your favourite Victoria used-goods website, and start looking. You don’t have to like cars, but you never know: you might end up loving driving after all, and you’ll certainly end up with more time in your schedule.

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