Incoming college freshmen from out of state not only get to experience what higher education is like, they get to do so in a completely unfamiliar setting. Although out of state students tend to pay much higher tuition and fees, this hasn’t stopped droves of them from pursuing their educational goals.
It goes without saying that out of state students have much more on their to-do-lists in terms of packing, transportation and housing concerns, compared to students that live in state. While not impossible to accomplish, the process of moving from home to campus is a large, consuming task.
One aspect that isn’t given much thought, however, is the matter of driving and getting around town for out of state students. Those with driver’s licenses won’t have much of a learning curve to deal with but if a student is moving to an environment that is completely different from what they know, it could pose a bit of a challenge. For example, living and driving in a rural community usually entails traveling on wide open roads, highways and plenty of space. Students making the transition from a rural setting to a more metropolitan one, such as UCSF in the San Francisco Bay Area in California could prove to be a culture shock—especially when it comes to driving and getting around.
Out of state students in this situation who happen to not have a driver’s license yet may have an even harder time making the adjustment. However, it is possible to learn how to navigate busy city streets over time. Sites like Education4drivers.com provide students with resources, discounts and information dealing with all things related to driving. Accessing this type of information online is a convenient and effective way for students coming from out of state to properly prepare for the transition as a new driver in unfamiliar territory.
Students getting ready to make the big move also need to pack smart in order to drive smart. It is tempting to cram every single belonging into the car and head off to campus. However, if the result means having boxes and other items blocking blind spots and making it difficult (or downright impossible) to see out of the rear-view mirrors, this is not acceptable and increases the risk of getting into an accident or receiving a ticket. Instead, pack only what is needed and if everything won’t fit, arrange for a moving truck of the appropriate size or ask a friend or family member to volunteer their car as an additional vehicle to tag along on the trip with the rest of the student’s belongings.
Other tips for driving smart during the college years include knowing what the parking situation is like on and off campus. Pay attention to what street signs say, including specific hours when vehicles are not allowed to be parked in an area and if permits are required. This attention to detail will prevent the odds of getting an expensive ticket and/or having a car towed.