Meijer Runs by Carla

A friend of mine, Kevin, makes trips to Meijer some weekends to grab groceries. Like me, Kevin is less than satisfied with dining hall food. I have no issues with the wide selection at the Sundial, of course, and I’m a regular at Jamba Juice. However, if it’s the middle of the night and the vending machine in Harshman is down to potato chips and weird breakfast foods, I have to search hard for good food.

With my car at home to save money on gas and car insurance, transportation has been a nagging issue. It’s become almost routine for me on weekends to ask Kevin, “How about a Meijer run?”  This weekend, I remedied the problem.  I visited home and came back with my Hyundai.  As I pulled into the on-campus lot and secured my hang tag, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I could feel my college experience changing. 

I parted with my car on move-in day. My parents drove it back home, where it would sit idly in the garage. This was a fiscally responsible decision, we’d decided: a solution that would save me money and time. The price of car insurance is ridiculous, and no one wants to deal with parking tickets or break-ins, so we canceled the insurance and didn’t speak about it again. This seemed smart in theory, but I’ve spoiled myself shamelessly, so I wasn’t prepared for life without a car. 

Here and there, I’d have a craving for Panera, but I wouldn’t have the time or patience to walk downtown. Other times, I would want to catch a movie at Levis Commons. I could handle these little irritations, of course.  After all, I’m blessed with generous friends like Kevin, who have cars and share my enthusiasm for Meijer runs.  I reminded myself that I could manage just fine without my car.  Then, the windstorm happened.   

I was due at Crim Elementary for a field experience a couple weeks ago, when word spread around that the town was under a tornado watch. The wind was blowing fiercely, and the rain was about to follow. I couldn’t call in sick on short notice and I couldn’t risk being late. “Do you know of anyone with  a car who isn’t in class right now?” I asked my roommate. Negative. I called a myriad of people.  I called Kevin. No one could help. Needless to say, I walked through the doors of Crim at noon sharp, dripping wet and sporting a broken, inverted umbrella.   

I called my mother that afternoon and insisted that I bring up my car. I’d resolve the disgustingly high insurance rates and commit to become an “occasional” driver. I’d shop around for the cheapest gas prices.  I didn’t care. I got my wish today, as I topped off a great weekend at home by driving back to school in my car.

This campus has a lot to offer. I don’t want to limit myself to dinners at Sundial or carpool with other education students to field experiences. Further, constantly ordering Pita Pit for delivery is expensive. Equipped with transportation and a sense of independence, I intend to enjoy myself. I want to hit the all-night drive-thru at Coldstone. I want to drive to Perrysburg to see “Waiting for Superman” for a second time. Predictably, I foresee a lot of Meijer runs. If I can just make it to Spring Semester with no parking tickets, I’ll feel accomplished. That hang tag will be worth its price.

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