An open letter to drivers at WHS

by Zoë Rader
Dear Student Drivers at WHS,
     Fellow drivers and peers, I believe we have gone far too long in neglecting a serious issue at WHS. We can no longer ignore the problems we are facing—the daily struggle that brings incessant chaos and anxiety to our lives. The parking epidemic at WHS is one we need to decisively confront.
     We have all been victims of this unrelenting problem. A daunting clock in your bedroom screams the time—7:05. Desperate drivers parallel park in any last existing inch of pavement that encircles the high school perimeter.  Haunting images flash through your mind of black, shiny Jeeps and white BMW’s lining up on Trinity, Rahway and Dorian. The parking lot is now an ancient battlefield where five minutes prior a tough fight unveiled, as a Chevy raced to the last narrow spot while a Honda flew out of the opposite lane and swerved into the vacancy. 
     Next to slow WiFi servers and long lines on Ciabatta Tuesday, the parking issue is one of our most stressful daily concerns. Our entire day depends on where we make that final gear shift into “park.” It dictates our mood for the rest of the school day. It is a snowball effect of misery; a bad parking spot leads to long walks to school, which leads to bleeding and bubbling blistered heels, which leads to screaming teachers, which eventually leads to after-school traffic. These grievances are unnecessary burdens in our high-stress adolescent lives. 
     I am certainly not the voice of upperclassmen, nor am I an expert on parking, but I do not think I stand alone in seeking change. I believe there is a plausible solution for this unnecessary burden in our lives. Fellow student drivers, I implore you to think carefully before you finalize your spot. Why leave so much excess space between your vehicle and the one parked behind you? Why park over the space lines in the parking lot, deterring another driver from settling in that 20 feet of pavement? Why take the space of two cars and claim you are “saving the spot for a friend”? These actions are downright selfish and obnoxious; these actions are injustices to the very unity and structure of our school community.
     Student drivers at WHS, mindfulness and civilization are not difficult solutions. Let us join together and work toward a simpler, more humane parking culture at WHS. We earned the privilege to drive; why should this privilege be a stress or hardship? Let us end the parking crisis, so we can shift our worries to other petty problems in our privileged lives.