A how-to guide: parking lot etiquette

November 16, 2022 — by Michelle Wan
Photo by Ariel Zhou
Just a casual day in the Toga parking lot.
Driving in the parking lot really isn’t that confusing, but some people make it so.

Few things are more frustrating than pulling up to the school parking lot at 8:17 a.m. expecting to park next to your best friend in your usual parking spot, only to find another car already parked in your conquered land. As the first semester comes to an end, many students have long since hand-picked their regular parking spaces with their friends, and it’s only common courtesy to refrain from stealing these spots, especially if they park there every day. On the off-chance you unknowingly park in somebody else’s spot, don’t be surprised if you’re shot a dark look from one or two students in your local vicinity.

Sometimes, a gem in the parking lot decides to park horizontally across three parking spots, and all I think to myself is: what in the world goes on in this person’s head? Clearly nothing. If you realize your parking isn’t the best, please do everybody a favor and repark, or simply remove yourself from the situation and park in a less populated section of the lot. The bottom line is: If you can’t park within the lines, you should get your license revoked.

Dear parents: PLEASE refrain from dropping off and picking up your children in the parking lot; you’re always driving out of that one exit lane, which most students use as an entrance, and it causes a large inconvenience for students all around. The after-school congestion is already painfully slow and frustrating for all students, but with the addition of you all, students either have to wait for the traffic to slow down or speed off as soon as the bell rings in order to avoid the delay caused by parents. Do us a favor and don’t drive into the parking lot at all, please and thank you.

Some days, you might see Mr. Thompson lingering in the parking lot, yelling at students to slow down in the parking lot. While some students are watchful for crossing pedestrians, others treat the 10 mph speed limit as a mere suggestion, breaking speeding records and blasting music across the junior and senior lots. Speeding really doesn’t make you cooler than others and I just know your gas consumption is not nearly as efficient as it could be. 

Along with speeding, students sometimes make the smart decision to blare their horns at their friends, causing turning heads and disruption across the entire parking lot. This obnoxious habit should stop and is simply migraine-inducing. Don’t speed or honk: That way, you conserve your gas and students can enjoy a peaceful lunch — a win-win for everybody. 

Common sense is a necessity for those who wish to drive among others. If somebody is driving straight, it probably isn’t a good idea to cut them off. Unless it’s with their friend, many students don’t understand the concept of being a respectable driver and waiting for their turn in parking lot traffic. Trust me, somebody will let you squeeze in if you’ve been waiting respectfully.

However, I must add that these common etiquette rules are only applicable before 8 p.m. After nightfall, these regulations are completely ignored as students return to meet up with friends and carry out their plans for the night. In this case, the common ethic is that anybody can drive however they please — within reason — as school is no longer in session.

While there are many hiccups to students’ questionable driving decisions, the parking lot remains a commonplace for many students to talk and bond over their many complaints after a long day at school. Bottom Line: Don’t be an idiot while driving and become somebody to complain about.

7 views this week