This week, I started the last (I hope) fall semester of my undergrad career. Just like the start of every other term I’ve attended here, a seemingly non-stop stream of complaints concerning student parking has taken over campus. Stand within ear-shot of the nearest group of students and you’ll no doubt hear “It took me 20 minutes to find a parking spot!” Cue outrage from concerned friends & classmates. Move slightly to the right and another group of students will exclaim “I paid $100 for my yearly parking pass and I still had to walk 200 yards to get inside my building!!!”
Can you imagine? 20 somethings using their fully functional legs to transport themselves. Clearly society has taken a wrong turn somewhere.
Today, after a long relaxing lunch in the student union with an old friend, I headed towards my car to drop off some books. I arrive early to campus, so I had one of the best spots available. Within seconds, numerous drivers had zeroed in on my location and their driver senses started tingling. “A fresh, luxurious, parking space is about to open and it’s going to be mine!” they no doubt thought. Imagine their horror when I casually opened up my passenger(!) side door, placed a couple of textbooks on the seat, and then headed back to class!
OK, that didn’t quite happen. No one stalked me to my car, although that does occasionally happen and yes, it’s much creepier at night.
But I did people-watch for a bit and took notice of what appeared to be a healthy functional adult woman drive her shiny Kia Soul around and around the parking lot. Over and over. How many laps she did, I’m not sure. Finally, exhausted and hungry from her Nascar training routine, she admitted defeat and headed to the much larger and roomier Lot 4 – the main student parking lot.
Total distance between these two areas: a football field
You might think this girl was an anomaly, but there are many like her at my campus. It’s beyond nuts because A) You know before enrolling that this campus is in a suburban area, B) Has a large number of commuters, and C) The campus isn’t that large, as far as American universities go, so walking cannot be a hardship*. I suspect these people will provie me with endless entertainment this semester.
In my dumber days, I’m sure I criticized the parking situation. However, I also have the ability, like all humans, to wise up and change my perspective. I still commute to campus because living at home rent free and driving a much too nice (another lesson learned), though fuel efficient car, is cheaper than living near school.
Instead of bitching about having to walk a few extra feet, I simply park wherever there’s an open spot. Sometimes that spot is even on the opposite side of where I need to be! It’s less stressful, saves money, and forces us to walk a small amount more. Which is what most of need, but never have enough time to do – exercise!
After witnessing the previous tragic event, I walked over to a sunny spot on campus and sat on a comfortable bench to write this post. Here I am far away from noisy automobiles and I can sit and enjoy the great weather and appreciate my university’s fancy landscaping. Just think how much better that woman would feel about Life if she had spent 20 minutes enjoying campus instead of searching for a spot of asphalt she could call “her’s”.