July eighth marked one of the best days of my life. I, a nineteen-year-old Asian woman, passed my drivers test.
Running out of my car with the DMV-approved paper license, I proceeded to hug my father and immediately enlisted my vehicle for Park ‘n’ Pony once I came home.
Fast forward to August- I picked up my SMU student parking pass and proudly placed it in the front right corner of my window. Little did I know that I signed myself up for a year of driving hell.
People warned me; I thought they were exaggerating. To everyone who complained about finding parking on a daily basis I assumed they didn’t realize how much of a blessing it is to have a car on campus- let alone be able to drive it without being a danger to the public.
First day with my car on campus, I proceeded to park in Binkley garage. Being ignorant as I am, I didn’t bother to read the signs labeled “FACULTY PARKING ONLY” and proceeded to park on the second level- whilst patting myself on the back for finding a parking spot so quickly.
I took ten minutes to park. I tried to maneuver my car in every way possible to fit my huge sedan within the constraints of the angled white lines. After I managed to straighten out my car, I left the parking garage to my dorm thinking nothing of it.
The next day I was aghast. There it was, less than twenty-four hours later, the white and yellow ticket waved in the wind holding on at the corners by my windshield wiper.
And from there, things went downhill. I proceeded to be late by five to ten minutes to class because no matter how early you go to find parking, it is nearly impossible to find a spot. I would come in class, gasping for air from running down five flights of stairs sweating like a sinner in church.
I cursed SMU parking in my mind every time that happened. And it seemed to happen a lot.
With 11,000 undergraduate students at SMU along with faculty, students living off-campus and graduate students, there is definitely not enough parking spaces to accommodate everyone.
SMU currently has seven parking centers, multiple metered parking areas and a Mockingbird parking area.
This is still not enough space as students engage in a daily battle for parking spots, revving their engines and swerving Tokyo-drift style.
As of now, SMU will lose seventeen parking spaces to break ground for the second education school.
So buckle up, put your car in sports mode and get ready to scour the campus for whatever parking is left.