Student’s Departure Plans Hit a Snag in the Road

Sophomore Ben Hayes stands next to his car, which suffered a flat tire right before he planned to head home.

Sophomore Ben Hayes stands next to his car, which suffered a flat tire right before he planned to head home.

Preparing to return home for Thanksgiving Break is never without a few bumps in the road. Or, in the case of Marist College sophomore Ben Hayes, an actual flat tire.

For Hayes, a sports communication major at Marist, this was the first semester that he was able to bring his car to Marist. He lives approximately four hours away in Duxbury, Mass., about forty minutes from Cape Cod. His 2005 Jeep Cherokee Laredo – a car designed to withstand uneven terrain and climates, if the commercials are true – had not had a single service problem over the course of the semester.

At least, not one that Hayes noticed until it was time to leave campus this afternoon.

“I had everything packed in my room, and was actually taking out the trash when I noticed the flat in the front left tire,” Hayes, a Gartland resident, said. “And to be honest, I just stood there for a second unsure of what to do.”

This slight misfortune was exacerbated due to the fact that Hayes was not only driving himself home; he had four other seats reserved for his Marist friends: two from Cape Cod and two from right outside Boston, which would have extended his overall driving time to about six hours.

“It was a bummer at the time, because I haven’t been home since August. All I want to do right now is go home,” Hayes said, but was luckily able to laugh it off. “None of my friends were upset. We’re going to go out to dinner tonight and then leaving early in the morning.”

There was, however, one more slight bump in the story – Hayes had no idea where or how to fix a flat tire. Fortunately, the Mobil gas station across the street had the resources available to adequately fill up his spare, which Hayes then had to switch out.

“That was a pretty stressful situation, not going to lie,” he said. “I was crouched down in the gas station parking lot with a flashlight, talking to my dad as he tried to work me through it. I accidentally tossed some random capsule away in frustration and then had to go find it in the dark. Plus, you’ve been outside today – it’s freezing.”

Even though this was not exactly how Hayes expected the beginning of his vacation to start out, he noted that at least the tire is now fixed, the car filled with gas, and his belongings all packed away. For some Marist students, there are still classes tomorrow and the idea of driving home is shrouded by however many hours are left remaining in the classroom.

“It was a misstep for sure, but I still get to go home early tomorrow morning, and that’s good enough for me,” Hayes said.

But – for those of you gearing up to head home for this short holiday break – do something before you depart: check your tires.

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