The NCHS parking lot has been a topic many of us complain about on a daily basis: “So and So drives too slowly,” “that person is a maniac-driver,” “why isn’t this line moving any faster?” “Why won’t that jerk just let someone in for once?” We’ve all heard or said at least one of these comments, however, no one is answering us. The jerks don’t let anyone in, the white-knuckled drivers go through the line too slow, and students are still getting into accidents. It makes us wonder, what is the common thread between all of these situations, and how can we resolve it?
People. It is the most obvious and straightforward answer. People can be jerks, they can be haphazard, and they can simply be dumb once they get behind the wheel of their mid-sized sedan. When it comes to driving, the average person is more irritable and their IQ seems to drop about ten points. Teenagers in general have the reputation of being lousy drivers, but the school parking lot has a reputation all on its own. Waiting in the dreaded traffic line to get out of the school lot takes anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on the overall kindness of the student body that day. Getting out of the school and into the parking lot is like an olympic race, trying to make it out before the masses. Once we finally make it to the sea of multi-colored metal machines that our lives so heavily depend on, we must make a decision: wait, or suffer through the line?
For those of us who wait for the line to become more tolerable, we are able to experience an amusing dose of people-watching: students blasting their bass through their stereos until their cars shake, flipping the bird, unnecessarily revving their huge truck engines, the entertainment is endless. However, those of us in line are stuck being apprehensive of the idiot behind us following a little too closely, the NASCAR wanna-bes, and the dweeb making sexy eyes next to you in an attempt to get ahead in line.
People are crazy, but this isn’t a news flash. People have always been irritable and simply dumb when it comes to driving. However, the NCHS parking lot is not like Veterans Parkway. You are fated as a student to see these people almost every day of your life for at least four years. If you cut someone off, or refuse to let them into the line, how do you expect them to treat you the rest of the week? What things do you really have going on in your life that cause you to feel like you must race out of the parking lot at alarming speeds, pissing off a few people along the way?
Everyone needs to take a serious chill pill. It isn’t the fact that you are 16 that makes you a bad driver, or the fact that you have a large SUV; it is your attitude. If you act hastily, or in bad favor, you simply cannot avoid running into the rear of the car in front of you. A fender bender can also result from the natural spaciness that teenagers live in, so says the back of my Camry that was rudely hit while one student decided the song playing on her Ipod was more important than her break pedal.
Yes, yes, teenagers are more likely to get into crashes because of the lack of wisdom and experience, but most crashes are not due to this lack of driving enlightenment. Most accidents committed by minors are generally due to self-made decisions like texting and underaged drinking. The fact is, our decisions make up our future, even outside school property. Whether or not we decide to respond to our BFF while behind the wheel, or got to that party and then drive ourselves home are decisions that both teenagers and adults alike are guilty for making. Furthermore, whether or not you decide to let that girl who is in your math class go in front of you, or limit distractions while pulling out of “your space” in the lot is up to you. These decisions you make can improve your overall experience in the parking lot, or hurt it. Your choice, how are you going to make this insufferable idea of school more bearable? By leaving in a rush, or by helping each other out? Because in the end, we’re all on the same side.