The Joys of University Parking


By Teretta on Flickr


I’m sure you’ve been victim to what I’m talking about, no matter where you live. You’re slowly bumbling along, looking for that open spot when some asshole almost flips your car because ‘class is starting soon.’ It’s doesn’t even need to be said, you can just tell by the way they’re driving that they’re more important than you because they have a 10:52am class, when yours begins at 10:50am. The parking lot is their ocean, and you’re the minnow. They’ll shamelessly push you out of a spot and then smile at you as they lock their doors, because you know they’re running late, so all is forgiven. Right? No. This experience irritating enough to garner a list of bullet points that every university student needs to know before braving the treacherous waters known as Student Parking.


1. Stay with the flow of traffic. If you drive at the law-mandated speed, you’re never going find a spot. Time to grow some balls and floor it.  30mph is the norm – don’t worry, people will get out of your way.

2. Learn to steal. If you don’t do it, it will be done to you. You’ll be waiting 5+ minutes for some slow idiot to finally start their car and back out, and someone who left their house 4 minutes before class will swoop in and steal your spot. Aspire to be like them.

3. Leave pleading notes to parking enforcement when you can’t find a spot. Let’s be real, we’ve all done this. Most of the time it’s a genuine, frantically scribbled two-page note (that you’ll plaster across your entire dashboard) explaining how you have been looking for parking for 30 minutes and can’t find a spot so you parked in employee parking instead. Their lots are perpetually less-than-half full, but parking enforcement will still slap you down with a $45 ticket if you park in the ‘E’ lot somewhat near your building instead of the empty student lot 36 miles away. Whatever. They need to be more sympathetic, and your desperate note will sway them.

4. Get out of the way. Or die… Maybe. People are ruthless. They are here to PARK, goddammit, and you better get the hell out of the way, lowly pedestrian. Put some pep in your step and New-York-City-walk your way out of that parking lot and to safety, and always sprint past any empty spots that line your path.

5. When in doubt, just pay. The meters on campus are usually not out-of-this-world expensive. They are there for moments when you cannot do any of the above, which is probably (lets face it) what the university is hoping will happen. You can take your time, pick a spot, and pay $4.00 for one-hour five-hours of parking!

6. If you’re not on campus at 8am, just fuck it. The lots fill up with the sunrise. If you’re on campus at 3pm, I don’t know what to tell you other than it’s time to put your game face on. And by game face, I mean road rage. Blow by pedestrians, flip people off, and shamelessly blow the mirror off the parked car next to your spot as you squeal in at breakneck speed. After all, we college students occasionally get points off for excessive tardiness, and parking is not a justifiable excuse.


Here’s how much my university made off of parking decals, fines, and pay-by-space machines back in 2008-2009. Be fearless in your parking game.