College Clichés: Road Trip Edition

By Hannah Alvarado
Blog Content Contributor

College. Just the mention of the institution can conjure up quite a diverse set of images in your mind. And apparently, there are a few milestones that we are seemingly “meant” to have, when in University. You know the ones; those moments that are constantly depicted in movies that are meant to become an experience that we are all meant to look back fondly upon and smile. One of the first clichés that come to my mind? The University road trip.

You and your friends, way more snacks than anyone could possibly finish, a playlist and a destination; the University road trip is one of my personal favorite college clichés because of the glossy nature of the adventure. There are never any bumps in the road, the gas stations are always perfectly timed as well as clean and reasonably priced, and the destination is never the most important part but the journey itself always brings everyone closer together. So I was curious, is there any merit in all this? I wanted to see and find out for myself.

This past spring break, my best friend (who happens to be my boyfriend) and I decided to take a road trip to The Grand Canyon itself. Which was equally depicted as majestic and a “must-do” as the road trip itself. Neither he nor I had ever been, we’d never driven that long before either. (A Total of 16 hours and 25 minutes). But we decided if we didn’t do it now, we may never get to. So we packed up, and set out.

The drive, for the most part, was actually a whole lot of fun. As you can imagine, there were gorgeous views and some very weird things to be seen. A wild pack of hundreds of goats, a well-lit cement shack in the middle of nowhere as well as a gigantic all-white wolf were only some of the notable sites that were seen. The hardest part, though, was also the drive, and more specifically, the last two-hour stretch before the hotel. Even though my boyfriend and I had been rotated once before I’d grown pretty tired of driving. Though we were thoroughly caffeinated; a morning coffee, two Red Bull’s and a five-hour energy shot can only do so much when we you started your day at 2:45 a.m. I could feel the exhaustion come over me, and my eyelids grow heavy. My body began to ache for sleep as I’d already clocked in 11 hours of driving. We got there safely without incident, don’t you worry. Although I feel like it should be said, just as side note about safety, be sure to rest when you have to.

After all that driving, we got some dinner and hit the hay both from exhaustion and in preparation for the following day. The next morning, we arose early to see the sunrise over the canyon. There were a good few hundred people there for the same exact reason. From all over the world. Individuals from New York, California, Japan, Norway, Canada Italy, Greece – it was a an amazing site to see. Almost even more than the sun rising over the snow-capped canyon. In that moment I had a real chance to sit back and enjoy the majesty of it all.

The expensive hotel, long drive and the overpriced food aside, the real question that lingers is if it was all worth it? Is there any merit to the College Cliché of the University Road Trip? Absolutely. Getting to explore the canyon, and the other states themselves, was quite the adventure. One I know neither one of us will ever forget. So overall, should this cliché be here to stay? My verdict: Yes. Why? Though it isn’t as glossy as the movies make it seem, i.e. you do get tired, and sometimes the rest stop doesn’t show up right when you need it to, and yes, your back does ache after all that travel, the fact remains that it truly was an adventure. So regardless how far your road trip, the adventure really isn’t the destination but rather the journey itself. Cliché? Maybe, but hey we’ve already covered that.

Featured image by Hannah Alvarado.

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