DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been a New York City girl my entire life. I grew up in the West Village, attended city schools and commuted through Manhattan for as long as I can remember. My parents let me take the subway with my friend as soon as I entered middle school, and I am very comfortable with the sometimes confusing NYC subway system.
I am about to leave for college, and my future roommate recently asked me if I am bringing my car up to school, and whether I plan on driving to classes. I was taken aback by this question because not only do I not have a car, but I don't even have a driver's license. Living in New York, I never saw the need for one. Do you think a driver's license is an important thing to have in your life? -- Need to Drive, Brooklyn, New York
DEAR NEED TO DRIVE: As someone who moved to New York City after having learned to drive, I am a big proponent of driving. It gives you a level of independence that can serve you well. I also know that many New Yorkers never learn to drive, and it often isn't an issue for them. New York City has an excellent public transportation system, between the subways and the buses.
What you should find out is how important being able to drive is at your new school. It could be that you will need transportation there. Since you do not have a car, consider bringing a bike. At some schools, navigating campus alone can be a challenge because it is so vast. In terms of learning to drive, I'm 100 percent for it!