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Spirit Garage
Original photo by Peyton Gay

My FSU Parking Pandemonium

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

After both living off and on campus, the parking situation is something that has caused persistent stress in my academic life. At first, you would think how much can finding a temporary spot for your car really affect how you move throughout the day. Surprisingly, more than you would initially assume.

When I lived on campus, I struggled with getting groceries and working because of the parking situation. Even now, off campus, there’s still a fight for parking. Through these situations, I’ve found timing and location heavily affect whether I will have luck finding parking.

Nothing is more frightful than the in-between-of-classes as an off-campus student and finding no parking. Everyone is looking for parking, and you pass by cars going around and around the parking garages like mice in a maze. There’s the frantic anxiety of just needing to put your car away to get to class and finding no empty spots. Students are brutal, speeding around the corners and cutting others off. It’s practically The Hunger Games. It’s a combination of luck and skill to find parking in those thirty minutes between classes among the chaos.

I have found that, usually, more spots are open during class times or right when students are leaving. Finding the perfect timing is vital to finding parking spots for class. Another factor is location. The parking garages closer to the heart of campus are more likely to be filled faster than the garages on the outskirts.

If you live on campus, you either have to drive to get groceries or walk to stores that will overprice any possible nutrition you could buy. For a while, I used to frequent the CVS on the corner of Pensacola St. and Woodward Ave. However, the prices got to be counterproductive. The struggle with buying groceries is sacrificing whatever parking spot you have lucked into to go get the groceries and then hauling them back to the dorm if you find any parking spots when you get back.

I advise against going grocery shopping on event days: you are unlikely to get a parking spot back.

Having to find parking and walk across campus with bags of groceries, usually in multiple trips, was extraneous. You have to keep in mind the hills, how far the walk from the garage is, and the weather. My roommate and I would idle the car by our dorm entrance and take turns bringing up groceries. I have also seen others use a foldable cart to wheel groceries, hopefully with no stairs on the path. This was one of the solutions we found to avoid the long trip between the parking garage and our room.

Even while I lived in the dorms, I still had an off-campus job. Whenever I came back from work at night, especially on the weekends, there was little to no chance of finding overnight parking. In select garages, students are allowed to park their cars overnight. The overnight parking spots are limited, depending on the garage, to the top one or two floors. Ramps seem to count as the upper level, so those were included. But after having a semester of coming back to the garages so late at night, something more dangerous the farther you have to walk, there would be nights where I would accept the parking ticket because there simply were not any more available parking spots. These are the only two solutions I found to this particular problem. To this day, I still believe there probably aren’t enough parking spots for the number of students who live on campus.

For the parking problems I’ve encountered, my response has continued to be to either brave the possibility of a ticket, hope I find an available spot or be ridiculously early. There are probably greater factors at play that cause these repetitive issues in college parking, something I’m sure is a wide experience most can relate to. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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There are two things to know about me: I love staying busy and have opinions on everything. I have an insane amount of hobbies like sewing, painting, writing, playing the guitar (not very well), reading, and shopping. My four-year-old cat is named Oberon, although everyone calls him something different. I watch video essays at least an hour long, even if they are on topics I never thought to entertain. I have started three grease fires trying to make popcorn on the stove. I am no longer allowed to make popcorn, for everyone’s safety.