Commuter Corner: Give me a break

Get out of my way. I'm late. (Daniel R. Blume/Creative Commons Flickr)

Winter break was really productive for me. I found a new show to watch, reread a great series and got myself a new car.

I only enjoyed the first two. Getting a new car would be great for pretty much anyone else, but when you commute mainly because you don’t have the funds to live on campus, it is actually really stressful.

Before break, I had several issues with my car. There was a leak somewhere, so when I got up in the morning the floor was soaked and the inner side of the windshield was just as frozen as the outside. The air conditioner didn’t work. The horn produced a strange smell as well as a strange sound. Only one window rolled down. The front wheel made a weird clunking sound, and the back tire went flat on the highway one morning. When I went to get a new tire put on, they told me that the parking brakes were fried and then showed me how broken the control arm for the tire was.

The control arm, for those of you who don’t know, is important if you want the tire to stay attached to the car. The check engine light and battery light would randomly come on together, never leaving each other’s side. They alerted me to the fact that my windshield wipers were about to turn on without my consent at a high speed. My front end was falling off, the high beams didn’t really work, and the driver’s sun visor was broken and floppy.

These ailments made me want a new car desperately, but I was still a broke college student. Therefore, I got my “new” car for $800.

The radio doesn’t work. The lights inside flicker. The place to charge my phone was not connected to any electricity. The tires currently make no weird sound. The muffler may need some work, but the AC and heat are working as of right now. The cover for the gas tank fights with me, but my floor isn’t soaking wet every morning and the windshield wipers stay in place until I tell them otherwise. The door locks don’t work, but it’s a small price to pay for my tires not falling off.

I envy the commuters who live closer or have nicer cars. Even if they borrow them from their parents or a friend, my parents have the same cars that I do: cheap ones with some lovely issues. So in between reading my books and watching that new series, I was paying for repairs on my old car, buying a new car, paying to register that, trying to sell my old car, paying for small repairs on the new car, scraping the UConn parking permit off the old car and then getting a new one for the new car. My father was making all the fixes, posting the car to different sites and meeting with people who were interested and subsequently uninterested once they saw it.


Overall, my break was more stressful than I wanted it to be, but I got through it. ‘Tis my burden as a commuter.


Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hannah.desrosiers@uconn.edu.