Navigating Your School’s Crowded Parking Lot

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June 1st, 2009

Parking on a school campus can be a total nightmare. Most schools that are primarily made up of commuter students will have large parking lots, but even these expansive lots often seem to have far fewer spaces than there are cars. To make sure that you are making the most of navigating your school’s crowded parking lot, you may want to consider some of these following things.

First, be honest with yourself regarding how much time you will typically need to find a parking space. It may take you far longer than it should under any other normal circumstance to track down an available space before your class, so do not shortchange yourself on time. If you typically take 15 minutes to find a parking space before class, budget your time beforehand so that you will have that full amount of time to find a space and still make it to class on time. It may seem absurd to leave the house 15 minutes earlier just to park, but doing so will minimize the chances of you running late to class and missing important announcements.

Also, consider parking further away and simply walking a few extra yards to class rather than circling the front of the parking lot fruitlessly over and over again. Though you may wish that you could find a parking spot close to your class, being stubborn about it could take up more of your time than simply parking further away and walking some more. Most parking lots will be emptier towards the back because most students try to park in the front, so you can save hunting time by heading straight for the back every day instead of trolling the front for ten minutes before giving up and heading towards the back anyway. You may even consider parking in a different lot that is less populated and taking a shuttle to your area of campus. Most commuter schools will have shuttles running from the parking lots to different areas on campus for this exact reason.

Finally, though you may be temped to park in a handicapped parking spot even though you do not have a permit to do so or park in an empty faculty parking spot, do not do so because this could result in a hefty fine from your school. After all, there are three things that you can count on when it comes to college: final examinations being difficult, textbooks being heavy, and the proficiency of campus police in ensuring that no one is parked illegally.

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