The Parking Lot Seating Chart

Michael Cheuvront, Reporter

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  Every day, while students pile into the school from 8:25-8:30, it seems as though everyone has a routine. They get up, get dressed, brush their teeth, (hardly ever) eat breakfast, get into their car, and drive to 3500 Mountain Lion Drive. For a large portion of students, however, the last step of their morning routine is the most consistent: parking. While some students park wherever available, others won’t be caught dead outside of their designated two white lines. It can be difficult to understand why students find it necessary to “claim” a public space, but many agree that it boils down to a desire for consistency throughout the school year. Whatever the motive, there’s no doubt that it has resulted in a distinct parking lot culture and brought together groups of like-minded people.

  Taya Thom, a junior who has parked in the same area every day since she earned her license, chooses to stay in the front row. “My friends and I park in the front row every day because it gets cold outside and we don’t want to walk a long way to the door.” This seems to be a common theme, as most cars in the parking lot are concentrated near the front entrance of the school. This is understandable, obviously, due to the simple fact that parking lots are used to accommodate a car while the driver is somewhere else. While this may seem like the only logical thing to do in the parking lot, the ones who intentionally park far away from the door have their own motives and culture that can be seen on a day-to-day basis. 

  Junior, Chloe Tippmann, who parks in the north-most bay, purposefully parks in a seemingly inconvenient spot. To some, it may appear to be a hassle, but for Tippmann, her intentions are anything but unreasonable. “It’s a further walk to the door in the mornings, but me and my friends get to school early so we can chill in our parking spots. It’s worth it to us.” 

   While reasons for parking in a consistent spot tend to stay surface-level, there are cases in which it’s simply a matter of security. No matter the setting, a condensed group of high school students driving cars all at the same time is a recipe for mistakes. It can be difficult to judge who can be trusted around these valued possessions, but a self-assigned parking spot can be used as an effective method of defense. “I feel like there’s always some sort of accident going on in the parking lot, so I like parking by people that I trust,” says junior, Jaeden Sayers. “My mom would kill me if I wrecked my car at school, so I can’t afford to risk it. Plus, I hate walking in alone.”

   No matter the reason for doing it, it seems as though Mountain View students can agree on one thing: they like consistency. Whether it’s to see friends, have a shorter walk, or even avoid a sideswipe, there’s value in keeping the mornings under control. The portion of the students who claimed their spot have undoubtedly created their own culture, and if it were to be named, would be titled as none other than a sort of ‘Parking Lot Seating Chart.’