Save the defensive mechanisms for the ring

By Gayle Bustamante


I remember my first day of college like it was yesterday rather than three years ago. I was a determined 18-year-old with the goal of flying through her college years.

I distinctly remember entering the university through the Hildebrand entrance and roaming past the commuter parking lot with false hopes of finding a vacant parking spot. My jaw dropped in astonishment as I told myself, “So, this is college, the so-called ‘best years of my life.’ ”

It is safe to say, I was really missing my personal parking spot from high school at the time. How I was not late to my first class remains a mystery.

I remember this day so clearly mainly because I relive it again every year. I have left my house at least two hours before my class starts ever since. However, no amount of strategizing can prepare me for the back-to-school clutter as the school continues to excessively expand.

This year stunned me the most after letting out a sigh of relief when I finally found parking on the fifth level of the Ancira parking garage at 7:45 a.m.

To those who arrive to school at least an hour later: I am sorry!

I know, I know. This issue is not exactly new to UIW students or faculty, but it is a growing matter nonetheless. Don’t worry though. This column is not going to be a long rant on the atrocious parking situation on campus.

I would just like to take the time to address the importance of taking precautions with fellow drivers in the parking lot.

Trust me, I understand and share the same frustrations as a commuter at this school. Leaving your house two hours before your class starts, taking three different highways, trying to survive the morning rush hour and then battling for parking is no way to start anyone’s morning.

However, don’t let that frustration get the best of you or your car or someone else’s car for that matter.

Drive responsibly and considerately.

I have heard students’ stories and have had my own experiences to attest to the reckless driving in the parking lot and garage this year. Be smart out there, students. People need their vehicles.

Stop at STOP signs. Watch your speed. Look out for students walking in the parking lot. Lay off the tailgating. Don’t drive in the middle of the road. Be aware of where you’re driving and what is around you. Also, be extra careful around construction sites this year.

If the driver in front of you manages to find a spot, let them park instead of racing around their car with envy. What else can you do?

Yes, parking can be very aggravating and potentially ruin your day, but don’t let that be your excuse to ruin someone else’s.

We all share the same goal here: do well in classes and manage to find an empty, non-towing zone on a daily basis.

Beaks up, Cardinals. It’ll get better!

E-mail Bustamante at


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