Construction for a new McDonald’s on Palmetto Street is underway. The McDonald’s will be just a short walk from campus. Like many students, I am excited that another convenient meal option will be available soon. Hearing the excitement in my friends’ voices when they announced that a McDonald’s is opening up right across the street has not failed to put a smile on my face.
Still, I am confused as to why so few restaurants and stores are close to FMU. I didn’t make my college decision based on how up-to-date the campus and surrounding town was, but the amount of development around FMU puzzles me. Besides the student population at FMU who would frequent restaurants and stores, there would also be customers from the Florence community and those who are on their way to the beach. I may not be a business major, but in my opinion there seems to be enough of a market to justify more new developments around FMU.
We have plenty of conveniently located gas stations, but I want to be able to buy more than a bag of chips and a candy bar. A grocery store with low prices close to campus would be a help to students who prefer to cook for themselves rather than eat at the cafeteria or The Grille. A grocery store, like Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, would be ideal. Not only would a grocery store help students save on time, but it would also help them save on gas money.
I would also love to see a coffee shop built within walking distance of campus. Students would be able to get their caffeine fix and they would be able to have a change in environment for studying. Honestly, I get tired of studying at the library. The library is a great study space, but after staring at my computer screen in a crunched study room for a couple of hours, I welcome a change of scenery. A coffee shop atmosphere would be a refreshing change. I love studying while sipping a white mocha from Starbucks and listening to indie music in the background. It’s an escape from the academia bubble. I feel like I’m in a social environment, but I’m still able to be productive as I study and complete homework assignments. If students are willing to drive 20 minutes to study at Starbucks, I’d say a nearby coffee shop would thrive.
Sure, I’m glad that a McDonald’s is coming right across from campus, but I would also be excited to see more restaurant options, grocery stores and, my personal plea, a coffee shop.
Maybe I won’t witness any of these developments during my time at FMU, but hey, a girl can dream, right? Plus, seeing a McDonald’s spring up across from campus gives me hope. I’m excited to see what FMU will look like 10 years from now. When I come to campus to reminisce about my college years, maybe that trip will include a visit to the local campus coffee shop.