War. That is what parking is like. During certain times, there are about five different cars dancing around each other trying to find a place to rest for the day. It is like a war zone — everyone competing for a tiny area to squeeze their car into while you run to make it to class.
I have been parking at North Dakota State for about two and a half years now. While I try to park, I fall into this hazy fog of anger due to the stupidity of other drivers and lack of parking spaces. Grabbing my steering wheel determined to find an open parking spot as the anxiety begins to flow through my fingers, I think about how late I will be because that truck decided to park over the line too much. I am unable to park all because they decided to take up two parking spots. Maybe one day I’ll be so desperate and just crawl out of my sunroof.
I turn down an aisle and see a car driving down the center of the parking lot, not moving, just driving at a constant speed towards my car. I
start to move over while they continue down the middle not caring that they are making me drive so close to the parked cars on my right that I completely stop, worried I might hit them. They continue as if I were in the wrong and go about their way to find themselves a parking spot.
I look down the next aisle and see a car halfway down and understand that there are most likely no open parking spots. The likelihood of them continuing to drive after passing an open parking spot is very rare, so keep that in mind when parking. I see people miss out on parking spots constantly due to them thinking they should go down the same area where someone just was.
This is the third time I have passed this black car (both of us are basically friends at this point). We do-si-do continuously as we both pray for a parking spot to open because, at this point, it has been about 10 minutes wasted.
I should have thought about this when leaving this morning. Why did I think that those 10 extra minutes of sleep would be worth enduring the painful and slow process of parking? If I had left 10 minutes ago maybe there would have been a parking spot open, and I could be sitting in class already. Instead, I am at a stand-still with about five other cars, and none of us are willing to give up any potential opportunities.
There is no hope at this point; maybe I should give up and go pay at the Union.
STOP! I see a student walking with their backpack, their face red and breath weak as they have been walking for what feels like forever. They look hopeful toward the many cars ahead — they must be going home. Now, here is the moment where parking gets terrifying. Every single car in this parking lot sees this student. They are hunting them, following their every move. One wrong turn or change in speed and that parking spot is taken by someone else.
“Follow them,” we all think, as we speed toward them and their car. They know you are trailing behind because that is how they got their parking spot. They turn toward a car. You see another desperate driver turn on their signal, indicating they have taken this spot from you.
A built-up rage fills inside you as you try to gather your thoughts and look for another student looking forward to their trip home. One car down, four more to go; somehow you will find a parking spot. Oh no, another car just pulled into the lot. Now we’re back to five.