Commuter life: The parking struggle is real

One of the downsides of being a commuter student is driving back and forth to and from campus and the ceaseless woes of finding a parking spot in time for class. Photo courtesy of Ariana Hansen.
One of the downsides of being a commuter student is driving back and forth to and
from campus and the ceaseless woes of finding a parking spot in time for class. Photo courtesy of Ariana Hansen.

    Until you have gotten to campus 30 minutes early and are still late to class, you cannot call yourself a commuter.  This happens way more often than it should for me, and it is terrible.

    Of course there is always the option of just leaving my house earlier and getting to campus sooner. But that usually does not work either because parking is a breeze on those days and I am just stuck sitting in my car until class.

     The problem with commuter parking on campus is that while there are enough spaces, they are not very convenient.

    For example, I have classes in Fayerweather, Anderson, and Clayton B. I have no problem with parking in the Clayton lot on the days that I have class there. But my class in Clayton is an afternoon class, which means I have to walk from there to Fayerweather in the morning.

    I know that I probably just sound like a lazy person, but keep in mind that the weather is not always wonderful here in East Tennessee. We get a lot of rain. We get snow. We have issues with ice on sidewalks, roads, etc.  It is not safe or easy to get around campus sometimes.

    When the weather turns ugly, it just makes the parking struggle even worse. Having to walk across campus in the rain is rough. It is not completely safe to do it in the snow or ice.

    Maryville College needs to regulate parking a bit better than they do. Security does not hesitate to write a commuter a ticket if they are parked in a residential parking area, but you do not often see an on-campus resident getting a ticket for being parked in commuter areas.

    It is not fair that on-campus residents get to have parking areas practically to themselves, but commuters have to share with faculty/staff and visitors. Since we commuters have to share with faculty and staff then they should have to share their parking spots with us.

    As commuters, we do have some perks. On those lucky parking days we can park right next to the buildings where we have class. On-campus residents cannot do that. We also can easily leave campus for lunch and not have to completely fight for a parking space when we return.

    While I wish there were some changes made with parking on campus, I understand that the world is not a perfect place. It would be so much better if everything were the way I wanted, and I am pretty sure the whole world feels that way.

    As much as I complain and gripe about having to drive to campus everyday and having to park, it is really not that bad. I have much more freedom during the days than most students who live on campus. I love every single aspect of commuting, even if it does not love me.

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