Bozeman is once again flush with MSU students, many of which are driving really nice cars I'll never be able to afford. My, how times have changed when it comes to the 'college car'.

Sure, not all of them are driving late model luxury SUVs or a fancy sports car...but there are a lot of them. We did some helping this past weekend, moving students and their stuff from vehicles to dwellings, so I had a chance to chat with over a dozen new MSU attendees.

Well over half were driving WAY nicer (and much newer) vehicles than we drive. Perhaps that's not saying much but we both have steady jobs and drive what I consider to be pretty normal, decent vehicles for this stage of our lives.

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I didn't have (or really need) a car for the first couple years of college. It certainly would have been nice, but it seemed easy to manage without one. Around the end of my sophomore year, my dad handed me the keys to a 1984 Oldsmobile station wagon. Jesus. He said I was welcome to it, but that was his best offer at the time. Turns out that ugly boat got our college crew to more out-of-state concerts than anyone else's car. It was ironically perfect, and yes...Dad gave me the car so still a generous hookup.

So how is it that first year college students are often driving cars/trucks/SUVs that cost $60K or more? Am I jealous? Absolutely! But I do find it super curious because NONE of my friends drove anything super fancy while in college back in the mid-90s. One of our buddies had a 10 year old SAAB 900 that was pretty cool, but that's about it.

Sten Rademaker - Unsplash
Sten Rademaker - Unsplash

I suppose I just don't understand why an undergrad away at school should be driving anything expensive. Of course, to each their own, especially if your family can easily afford just doesn't seem practical to me. Have you seen the parking lots on campus lately? It's door-dinging heaven. Narrow streets. Tight retail parking. Lots of on-street parking. Insurance on that thing? No thanks.

College kids haven't been driving more than a few years, so their driving experience and knowledge isn't very extensive. Getting an exotic vehicle fixed in this town will take you weeks because the folks who work on them are in such high demand and booked out. Again, it's not that practical even if money isn't an issue. What about other envious students? People do dumb things when they're jealous.

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