There is something so endearing about almost being gravely injured by a teenager driving their new sports car about 15 miles too fast in their high school parking lot, something so exhilarating about trying to squeeze a car into a minuscule spot overtaken on each side by the gargantuan wheels of a white jeep or even more commonly, a pickup truck. It’s truly an experience to be had and a situation that everyone is able to encounter at one of my most favorite places in the world, the Orange Lutheran parking lot. An amusement park could not give you half as much adrenaline as this parking lot does. If you are looking for some excitement in your life, look no further. A visit is sure to jumpstart your heart and get it beating a little faster than your doctor would likely recommend, especially if it happens twice a day, everyday. Entering the parking lot is always a massive thrill — I never feel the need to splash water on my face, take a cold shower or even buy a hot coffee, to wake me up in the morning when I instead have the adrenaline rush from simply pressing my foot down on the gas and clicking on my signal, entering an unassuming expanse of charcoal, pavement, and painted white lines. 

In a parking lot with little room and few spaces that fill up quickly, the way people park is entirely unimportant. Honestly, it’s surprising that people haven’t just started parking sideways across multiple spots, in an effort to save time and stress. Oh, wait…Staying inside the lines while parking is wildly difficult, and I sympathize with those it is a challenge for. I mean, it took me a whole two days to learn, so I can understand why most of the student population of OLu has not been able to pick up on it yet. I enjoy the thrill I get in the morning, the constant game of is this spot big enough for a car? Obviously, they are designed to be, but shame on the construction crew for not factoring in parking jobs by high schoolers. It’s always a tossup if I will nick the car next to me while pulling into the spot (this is not an admission of guilt) or will even have enough room to exit the car without my door colliding with the car next to mine, something that also clearly troubles my peers. Though nothing is quite amusing as watching the parents of the baby freshmen, (lovely souls) decline to use the designated lane for dropoff, and instead use the lane for those who park. Spectating, I get the privilege of observing their freshman child climb out of the car, an experience in itself. I learn so much about each novice as they hop out of the car: what outfit they are wearing, whether they play a sport or maybe an instrument, if they have siblings, the list goes on and on. I love to play a guessing game of whether they open the back door of the car to grab their things, the trunk, or when things get really good, both! How I love to see what middle-aged parents keep in the trunk of their sedans — it is the true highlight of my day, a treat not as rare as you would think. Usually there are grocery bags and sports gear, but I’ve also seen gym bags, yoga mats, cases of water, snacks, a dead body, and so many other exciting things. 

At 2:50, the second half of the thrilling ordeal begins as the bell signals the end of the school day and the excitement, what I truly come to school for, can begin. I rush to my car as soon as I hear the till of the bell, not because I want the experience to be over, but because I just can’t wait for it to start. Truly, those 15 minutes sitting in my car are the most amusing of my whole day. It’s vehicular madness, sure, but who doesn’t love some drama? Who doesn’t need something to add a little flair, or a major insurance claim in the form of a car accident to their day?! Getting out of the parking lot and leaving in a timely manner will never happen and I, and as I know, others, are happier for it. We get to soak up the burning hot sun, listen to the rumbling of a couple hundred engines all turning on at exactly the same time, for the same exact goal. In the parking lot, I always get to exhibit those polite manners my parents drilled into me as a child, and allow every single car in the back row to pull out in front of me. They have places to be of course, and allowing one car to back out obviously was an invitation extended to the rest. Truthfully, I immensely enjoy waiting an extra ten minutes, sitting in my hot, sweaty car, my legs sticking to the searing black leather of my driver seat, savoring all parts of the experience. Sure, maybe one or two people could do with brushing up on on traffic laws, driving etiquette, practice parking their car, learning manners, understanding right of way, keeping their hand off the horn, how to sustain traffic flow, but on the chance that is could possibly lessen the time I and everyone else get to spend in the parking lot, I rescind that thought. I say better to stay unaware and uneducated, then to put in a little work and make things easier for everyone. The rushing, thrill inducing, sweat producing, adrenaline boosting, experience of the OLu parking lot, the happiest place on earth should stay just as it is. Change is never necessary. 


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