For any commuter at Drexel it can be challenging to find friends or get involved at school. As a freshman, you start out by riding trains to and from class, looking at your schedule, going to the train station, waking up early every morning, and indefinitely, many miss out on at least some aspects of the social life at school. It takes more perseverance and stamina, I would argue, for someone who is dealing with the stresses of travel in addition to the search for a stable social life and good grades than it does for someone who lives on campus.
To celebrate the University’s commuter students, Drexel hosts an annual Commuter Car Show. This year’s show will be held on campus tomorrow, May 22, showcasing a plethora of students’ own cars and providing a large-scale avenue that focuses on commuter students. Drexel has been actively working to improve the commuter experience, and commuter students have been utilizing the benefits Drexel has to offer to buy their own cars, with their own co-op money, which is earned with the knowledge and work ethic gained here at Drexel.
I bought my first car before I got to college. It was a beat-up, old ’98 Lexus ES 300 that I fixed up with my own work and money. I was never well off. As a matter of fact, my family was far from affluent for a while, but my good grades and quality work earned me a couple of scholarships to one of the best engineering institutions in the country: Drexel.
When I started at Drexel, I was so lost it wasn’t even funny. Navigating through the new personalities is hard for everyone, I would imagine, but it seemed like where I came from—Northeast Philadelphia—was significantly different in culture from where everyone else came from. I eventually learned to embrace my Drexel classmates and all of their diverse backgrounds, becoming socially involved and interested in extracurricular activities, which included being a planner for and participant in the Commuter Car Show.
I remember bringing my Lexus to the Car Show in 2011. I entered it into the “Most Drexel-Spirited” category because my car’s color resembled that of Mario’s, but also admittedly because it was the only category I thought I would win. Throughout the whole show, my new friends and I talked about cars and school and where we came from and more. It was awesome, and after that I was hooked.
This year I plan on entering my red Acura RSX Type-S in the “Built not Bought” category. I’m coming out a little harder than I was with my Lexus, having bought new wheels in a reverse-stagger setup and a couple of bolt-ons to soup up the ride a little bit after my second co-op. I love the car. She drove me 120 miles a day to and from my job in Allentown, she drives me to the train station every morning, and on breezy summer nights when there’s nothing else to do, sometimes I like to cruise around to ease my mind and relax as I feel the breeze go through my hair.
And while the competition may be a little stiff in the category this year, I’m more than ready to attend just for the sake of showcasing my pride and joy that I got through hard work and dedication to my future career of chemical engineering. Events like the Commuter Car Show make Drexel a better place, and as a proud Drexel Dragon I will continue to be a dedicated representative for the show and agent for commuter progress. Join us tomorrow at the Race Street Lawn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the eighth annual Commuter Car Show.