With the beginnings of a fresh, new school year quickly kicking into a high gear, students are discovering the ins and outs of their schedules and the navigational aspect of the university's campus.

At Mississippi State University, we are extremely blessed to attend a school with such a beautiful, expansive campus, full of bright greenery and scenery. There are, unfortunately, drawbacks to such an expansive campus.

While it is relaxing to meander around the campus, absorbing the atmosphere of college life with its bustle of students and activities, there comes the time—specifically in that dreaded ten minutes between classes—where you do not quite have this luxury of strolling across campus. Suddenly, the campus around you is riddled with roadblocks that appear on the way to your next class.

Arriving to class on time is an aspect of university culture which definitely takes some getting used to, especially when you find yourself practically sprinting from one side of campus to the other in a mere ten minutes, if not less. There is one easy way to kick the sweat and exhaustion to the curb—biking.

Whether you live on campus, are a commuter student, ride the shuttle or even simply walk from point A to point B, I believe every student would definitely benefit from owning and using a bicycle on campus. While the shuttle is a godsend for those without cars, parking passes or even those simply trying to avoid the trek from their residence to campus, the shuttle has certain routes and stops which do not necessarily reach exact destinations on campus.

This same idea may be applied to anyone, even those who drive to campus. Everyone has that one class which seems nearly impossible to reach in time by foot. Even if you commute to campus, having a bike at your service would significantly decrease the stress and the sweat of particularly tricky routes. Having already figured out your schedule, you could observe where it would be best to leave your bike and utilize it when needed.

You never notice how large and unshaded the Drill Field is until you are steadily hiking across, dripping sweat just to make it to the next class. Cars and campus shuttles may ease the time and energy required to travel from dorm or apartment to class buildings, but they cannot quite accomplish what a bicycle can when it comes to those sweltering Drill Field treks. Bikes can weave in and out through people, buildings and other tight places, all in a matter of time.

According to Exploratorium, you exert less energy biking one mile than you do walking that mile, and it is five times more efficient. Mississippi State has bike racks at nearly every corner and every building. Save the stress, and utilize the implementation of such bike friendly accommodations like bike racks and side trails.

Not only is biking quicker than walking, but it is also relatively cheap to attain the eco-friendly vehicle. Students may purchase a standard 26-inch mountain bike from Walmart for roughly $100. This price is well worth the amount of time and stress it will save you. However, if you are really balling on a college budget, there is no shame investing in your local pawn shops and neighborhood garage sales for bicycles, which may run as cheap as $15.

Bicycles are also eco-friendly and conservative when it comes to parking space. The parking situation for commuters is not ideal, and biking to class instead of driving would ease the problem of finding a parking spot in the mornings. On top of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from motorized vehicles, bicycling also aids in inadvertent ways.

In People for Bikes, the hundreds of billions of square feet on Earth occupied with asphalt and concrete for parking lots contributes to around 10% more carbon dioxide emissions than the percentage emitted by cars. Simply riding a bike rather than driving might ease the need for more parking spaces around campus.

So, save the stress, save the sweat and embrace the healthier route!

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