After fours years at Northern Michigan University I have finally become a commuter.
I was excited to be living off campus for the first time because I knew I would never have to follow all the crazy housing rules. I would finally be able to own a candle. But even through this excitement I was a little scared.
While I was living in the dorms during my first three years, I heard a lot about how parking on campus was horrible and there was never anywhere to park. I found this hard to believe because I always had a parking spot in Lot 1 right outside West Hall. Now that I am a commuter for the first time, I see what the other students in my class meant.
Getting a parking spot has become slightly dangerous and if you don't get there at the right time you can be circling the parking lot for 15 minutes. For the first week of school, I circled the parking lots quite a bit. The longer I was circling, the more dangerous it got.
My second day as a commuter, I was waiting in the aisle of the parking lot for someone to back out so I could get their spot. Well that person backed out and, as they were backing out, a car pulled up beside me. I just figured this driver was just going past me. Then, from out of nowhere, the car cut right in front of me and parked in the spot. Luckily, I'd been very aware of that car. If I hadn't been, both of our cars would not be in good shape right now.
Commuter parking on campus has become survival of the reckless. Students seem to be willing to do anything to get a parking spot -especially in the lot across from the Academic Mall.
The on-campus parking issue has been raised time and time again since I've been at NMU. One year Associated Students of NMU, the student body government, even tried to organize a protest about it. But I feel like nothing has changed.
Will anything ever be done to change this nightmare? Probably not. I'm not even quite sure how it could be made better. So, for now, I guess individual commuters just need to figure out a system that works for them.
I'm definitely still working on mine.
Editor's note: Northern Michigan University student and Mining Journal Staff Writer Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.