College Student Probs: Campus Driving and Parking= Nightmare

As my sophomore year at the University of Kentucky approached, I was particularly excited for two reasons:

1. I would be living in an apartment instead of a dorm
2. I would be taking my car with me this year

I felt like a true college student now, unbound by freshman limitations.

Of course, just like when we were younger and couldn’t wait until we were 13 years old or until we could watch a rated R movie in the theatre, we’ve always over-romanticized the next step to becoming an adult. And what is being an adult if you can’t go anywhere off campus? Well. Within less than a week, oh have I realized that having a car in college can surely be a nightmare…

To give you an idea of the parking situation at my apartment complex: All the residents receive a parking pass. There are, more or less, enough parking spots for each resident. No one who is not a resident can park in the lot, except visitors, who only can in certain spots at specific times throughout the week. All violators will be towed.

I returned late the first night at my apartment, tired and eager to just get into bed. I also didn’t want to park too far from my room because it was dark. And I was alone. To my frustration, not only were there no open parking spots, but there were people parked in handicapped spots and all along the curbs! And, of course, there is always that guy with the big truck who takes up two parking spots. There was just no way all those vehicles belonged to residents. So, after circling the three parking lots, I surrendered and parked along the last open curb, praying I wouldn’t find a ticket on the windshield the next morning…

…The next morning, I didn’t find a ticket. I didn’t find my car. Yup, it got towed. There went a whopping $122 to win my precious hostage back… Mental note: Try not to drive if possible; especially at night.

Not only is finding parking at my apartment a problem, but whenever I want to go anywhere in Lexington, I am fighting my road rage. Every hour feels like rush hour. Coming from Louisville, I’m not quite used to the way the roads are set up in Lexington. I don’t understand the curvy four lanes or why a light will turn green when the light right after it is still red… The green light is meaningless because we can’t even move!

And half the drivers in Lexington belong in this show:

Anyway, I’m also not too savvy with directions; I know how to get to places on campus on foot, but not exactly with a car yet. So it’s a bit difficult debating between driving and hoping to find a place to park somewhere closer to my destination or just making a 30-minute walk.

Although it is nice to have a car and have the freedom to drive places whenever I need or wish, there definitely are disadvantages, at least on my campus. But, when it comes down to it, the pros outweigh the cons in my situation because I can drive a little over an hour to return home, and I’ll be off campus volunteering and working on stories for my broadcast journalism class weekly.

So, if you’re thinking about whether or not you should take your car to campus, or you share the frustration of having a car there, here are some words of advice:

• Realistically ask yourself how often you would have to drive or leave campus during the year
• Find out bus schedules; some are free service and run even late at night
• Look up when free parking is available in certain parking lots or garages
• Consider buying a campus parking pass
• Consider riding a bicycle
• Try not to drive your car late at night if you do have limited parking spaces
• (Probably the most helpful) Make friends who live around different parts of campus or the city

-Do you think having a car on campus is an issue at your college?
-What’s the most convenient mode of transportation for you?

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