The Gustavian Weekly

The great parking spot dilemma | The Gustavian Weekly

By Lauren Casey - Opinion Columnist | November 16, 2018 | Opinion

Being a student at Gustavus teaches us important skills such as how to write, think critically, read, and solve problems. While we all have become very good at using these skills, the one thing they seem to never easily help with is the decision of giving up a great parking spot in order to run a quick errand, or keeping the spot. Some people don’t care about it at all, but the amount of times I have heard people bragging about how great their parking spot is, shows that it does in fact matter more than people think.

The first reason to keep a prime parking spot is because the weather is always bad when having to park far away…always. I may just be the only one, but whenever I have an awesome parking spot, and have a short walk back to my apartment, the weather is perfect. On the flip side, when I get stuck parking on the other side of the earth, aka College View, the weather never fails to give me a hard time, or decide to hit a new record low temp for the year. It may not seem like a huge deal to some people, but once you get caught in a downpour with no umbrella and two giant bags of groceries, it really makes changes your perspective, and makes you wonder what you ever did to deserve this. “I don’t think it is worth leaving a good spot because it is freezing, and would have to walk far,” sophomore Sami Jorgensen said. As we enter into the winter months, I guarantee the weather will be the number one factor to not leave a good spot.  

Losing a good parking spot really makes you evaluate your priorities in life. I don’t mean to go deep here, but the thought of jeopardizing a good spot really makes someone think about the wants and needs of life. “Good spots are important because it’s less walking distance,” junior Wyatt Miller said. Is the package of Oreos that’s calling your name from the store really worth leaving the comfort of the couch? For some people, Oreos may be a necessity, I understand, all power to you. Is Dunkin Donuts worth a walk across campus in the snow? One may argue that the warm cup of coffee makes the cold hike more bearable. Do I really need to get more shampoo? 

While I hope the answer to that last question is yes, a good parking spot will make you doubt yourself. The great parking spot dilemma thrives off the fact that a majority of college students find walking across campus and being voluntarily cold is a lot of effort, but also that getting things we don’t need makes us happy. This is why it is so hard to decide should I stay or should I go? It is so much more motivating to go to the store when you’re getting something you like, for me that is Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn, instead of something like laundry detergent which is setting you up for more misery in the future. “I will go if it is to get food because I’m really hungry,” junior Joey Foley said. Through this dilemma, you may discover just how important the little things in life are to you, and what things can wait.

Getting a good parking spot isn’t all about having a shorter walk. Admit it, when you drive into the lot and find a front row spot, you probably get more excited than the average person.

People on other campuses don’t realize just how exciting it is to get a good spot at Gustavus. As I mentioned, if it weren’t important, there would not be as many conversations about getting a good spot as there are now. Every time I get a good spot in complex, or a spot in complex at all, it definitely gives me a pride boost for the day. It is a great feeling to look out my window and see my car, “Goldie,” sitting there, like a trophy for getting that spot.

When I put my car into reverse and slowly back out because the apartment is out of paper towels, I feel a dull sadness wash over me as I drive farther away from what seemed too good to be true. This is why I never leave my spot.

I’d rather keep that sense of accomplishment than come back to that spot and see that it has cheated on me with another car. It may seem a bit dramatic to say that a parking spot makes me feel better about myself, but as a college student, sometimes you just have to take all the wins you can get for the week. 

Because it is so hard to decide whether to stay or go sometimes, Gusties have learned to compromise, obviously due to the problem solving skills Gustavus has taught us.

If one decides that the late night ice cream run is worth giving up the front row, a game plan must be formed in order to not lose the spot. I have seen people designate a friend to lay down in the vacant spot, use their little motorbike as a place filler when their truck isn’t there, as well as two cars fighting until one is the victor. These strategies show that no one truly wants to give up a great spot for anything. The whole situation seems ironic because the reason we have cars is to drive us places. The great parking spot dilemma may seem like an easy answer because no one wants to admit that the satisfaction from getting a great spot is larger than party size potato chips. And lastly, there is a reason why Dominos only delivers. 

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