A New Driver’s Perspective: What it’s like to park at Leesville

Teenage driving tries to strike a balance between leaving safely and leaving quickly.

A drivers license is a symbol of newly granted liberty, giving access to the rest of the world at any time of the owner’s choosing. With this freedom, comes the task of actually driving from place to place. People are torn between their desire to drive safely, and their desire to arrive in a timely manner (this conflict exists within all drivers, regardless of whether they claim to be angels or devils behind the wheel).

Things have changed since our parents were children. Sixteen is no longer a magic number that grants anyone a license. Nowadays, a license means passing a lengthy course and completing a whole year’s worth of supervised driving. These measures are necessary at a time when more people are on the road and people tend to drive faster and with more distractions than ever.

One of the benefits of having a car is coming and going from school. No more running after busses or begging friends or family for a ride. However, a daunting task arises when you drive school: parking.

One of the first things that will stand out is that the vast majority of people are going to try and get to school exactly on time. If you are coming from Leesville Road before 7 a.m., give or take a few minutes, you can cruise directly into the lot and park quickly and painlessly. Arrive a mere ten minutes later, and you find a line long enough to make a new iphone release jealous.

One of the chief causes of this, someone could reason, is that busses and students try to enter O’Neal Road from Leesville Road. And busses, by law, cannot turn right during red lights, regardless of whether or not traffic is coming from the left. Considering the “Left” in this instance is an average suburban community, only the occasional car leaves it at 7 in the morning.

Therefore, a whole line of cars that could turn right on red are blocked from doing so by busses using the same lane. This causes students, trying to hurry to class, to sit in the right lane idling and eventually blocking off the main lane of Leesville road. Some unfortunate souls cannot make it in time.

Leaving early is essential; and even before that, you should start your car a few minutes before you leave, to combat the bitter chill of an early January morning. In many homes, elders are granted sole use of the garage; leaving you to park your car outside. After a night of weather that can create frost on the roads, even grabbing the steering wheel can be a physically painful experience.

At the end of every day, comes the daunting task of leaving. While a good amount of people stay after school on a typical day, no one stays after school all the time. All at once, plenty of people are trying to get out of the parking lot, and others walk across the parking lot to their cars. A high level of perception and vigilance is required for both drivers and pedestrians. Every year, there are minor accidents in the parking lot- none unavoidable. For a short time, the road leading up the parking lot becomes a one-way road, to try and ease congestion and prevent accidents.

Naturally, your car has no business being at the school unless you reserve a place to park. Applying for a parking space is remarkably efficient, a credit to the LRHS staff. Someone can walk in with a check, a copy of a drivers license, and an application for a parking space picked up yesterday from the main office, and then ride the bus for the final time home, parking pass in hand.

Parking at Leesville can be trouble at times, but in the end, it grants you freedom that can only come with the burden of new found responsibility. Is there a better allegory to symbolize the entirety of a high school career?

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