© 2003 Carla Parrish. All Rights Reserved.
Most college students here at Western Carolina University can be seen at Wal-Mart three to four times a week. Unless you come from a small town, you may find this awkward. You may not understand how someone could spend so much time at Wal-Mart. It is not that it is the only place in the Cullowhee/Sylva area to shop at; it is just that college students do not know of the alternatives to shopping at Wal-Mart.
The advantage to Wal-Mart is the fact that it is a one-stop shop for all your daily needs. Still, with such diverse things under one roof, it is hard to get a well-balanced selection of the things you may want. For such a selection, you would need to be more familiar with surrounding stores that may specialize in specific things. A list of the basic departments visited at Wal-Mart is as follows: food, small appliances, house ware necessities, clothes & shoes, electronics, tools, toys, and medicine.
Food is the most important part of any college student’s life, and so you should have a large selection to choose from. Wal-Mart has your basic foods crammed into one small corner. For a better selection you could try Ingles, which is located between Wal-Mart and Western’s campus. Another grocery store located in Sylva is Food Lion. This store is a little more out of the way for the average college student. C3 is a convenience store located on Western’s campus, in Dodson. This store is conveniently located for the college student who does not have time to leave campus to buy their food for the weekend.
For small appliances you can look to Lumber Co., this store is also a good place to look to for tools. Wal-Mart has a wide selection of small appliances that anyone should be able to find one to fit their price range, while Lumber Co. may be a little out of a college student’s budget.
For your basic house ware needs your choices are endless. For a small budget, you can visit the Dollar Tree, located by Wal-Mart, the Dollar Store, located on your way into downtown Sylva, or you can visit the Dollar General. Most of your basic house ware needs can also be picked-up at the grocery stores that were listed above.
Good clothes are hard to find. Beggars can’t be chooser. When it comes to shopping for clothes you have to shop around. Sylva has many second hand stores with a great selection of clothes for reasonable prices. Western’s Reach program sponsors a second hand shop called The Reach Thrift Store. Here you can obtain anything from casual to formal ware clothing, as well as books, dishes, and even some toys. And all proceeds go to a good cause. For the more particular shopper you can try Goody’s or Rose’s, both located in the Jackson Plaza.
A necessity for a college student to function is electronics. Wal-Mart carries the basic electronic needs required by Western Carolina for their students. Still, there is never a guarantee that you will be able to obtain the required electronics that first week of the year at Wal-Mart. Freshmen always come up first and have a tendency to go to Wal-Mart and buy the place up. For those of you who find yourself missing your Ethernet cord and Wal-Mart just sold out, why don’t you try Radio Shack, located on the main street in Sylva.
Just because you are now in college does not mean that you have to grow up. Everyone loves toys. At the very least, you like to go and look at them and see what new ones they have come up with, or what old ones they have brought back. When you are tired of Wal-Mart’s selection you can try Roberson’s Supply, located on Cullowhee Rd. in Sylva.
The Cullowhee Crud, we have all had it at one time or another. Medicine is our friend, and you can always try visiting Student Health Services and getting some basic medicine for free (it is covered in your tuition and fees cost). If you are looking for other choices, you can try CVS, which is located by Ingles, Kel-Save which is located across the road from Grandma’s, Eastgate Pharmacy, which is located by the hospital, or Eckerd.
The choices above are only a few that the Cullowhee/Sylva area has to offer. So, don’t waste all of your time at Wal-Mart. Get out and learn about your surroundings and see what interesting places you can find.