Freshmen Guide 2018: How to survive on campus without a car

University Editor Sara Kellner poses for a photo on the stairs of Wightman Hall on Aug. 25.

Mount Pleasant is a college town, but not everything is near Central Michigan University. A lot of places require a car to get to, which makes it hard for students who don’t have access to one. 

It is possible to survive, you just have to know where to go. All of these places are within walking distance of campus, and you don’t have to cross busy Mission Street to get there.


If you need basic supplies like garbage bags, batteries or pencils, there are several places right on campus you can go.

Residential stores stock a lot of supplies. There’s the Market in East Campus, the P.O.D. Market in the Towers and the North Market in North Campus. 

You can also try CVS, which is a two-minute walk from the Health Professions building on Preston Street. 

The Central Michigan University Bookstore in Bovee University Center has school supplies like paper, index cards, and even art supplies.


What if you are sick of the food in the dining halls and need to get some groceries?

Residential markets have basic groceries stocked.  If you're in a pinch, you can usually find what you need.  One downside: everything in the residential markets is marked up in price, so it is not the cheapest option, but when you need something, does the price really matter?

Amazon Prime Pantry delivers almost everything, usually in bulk quantities. You can get non-perishable food items like granola bars and cans of soup, as well as household products like dish soap and makeup wipes.

The dining halls close at 8 p.m. on weeknights, but luckily, there are a number of great places to get food at night within walking distance of campus. 

Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald’s and Burger King on Mission Street are a short walk from the South and East campus residence halls. 7/11 and Dragon Express are just outside the Towers residential community on Broomfield Street. 

Arby’s and Pizza Hut are across from Health Professions on East Campus Drive, and La Señorita on Mission is just behind Moore Hall. 

There are also multiple delivery options. There are pizza places that deliver, including Domino’s, Hungry Howies, Papa John’s, the Cottage Inn and Pizza Hut. Insomnia Cookies and Menna’s Joint also deliver. 

If you're in the mood for something other than pizza, try the Joyrun app. Runners deliver food from fast food and carryout restaurants all over Mount Pleasant including Panera Bread, Wendy’s and Taco Bell. Sometimes runners will even go to stores like Walmart or CVS too.


Wesley church offers a lot of services and entertainment to students, whether they are members of the church or not. Every Tuesday, students can watch a movie for free. The films have a theme each month like Marvel, "Oscar Winners" or Christmas movies. Popcorn and drinks are also provided.

CMU provides free access for students to speeches, comedy shoes, concerts and panel discussions. There are events going on every night of the week, so check out the events calendar on CentralLink to find something you’re interested in.

The Office of Student Activities and Involvement offers activities and trips for a discounted rate. In the fall, you can go to Cedar Point for the day with transportation provided. 

If you need a car to get somewhere, there are multiple taxi companies in Mount Pleasant and fares are inexpensive. Uber is also available. You can also use iRide shuttles to get to the main shopping areas in Mount Pleasant.

To Leave Mount Pleasant:

Unless you live in Celani, Herrig or Saxe Hall, you will be required to leave campus during Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring break.  Finding a way home takes some planning, but it is possible.

The Office of Enrollment and Student Services provides inexpensive bus tickets that pick up on CMU's campus and drop of at several locations in Detroit and Chicago.  Students can click here to learn more about the bus service.

Amtrak offers discounted tickets to students.  The closest train station is in East Lansing, next to Michigan State University's campus.  Amtrak provides train and bus transportation across the U.S. with dozens of stations in the Midwest.  With the student discount, Amtrak tickets cost as much as the gas needed to drive there.