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New School Year Pulls In

This driver could use some parking tips. Photo: Alexis Wilkins

This driver could use some parking tips. Photo: Alexis Wilkins

These drivers seem to have mastered the challenges of the Pace back parking lot. Photo: Alexis Wilkins

These drivers seem to have mastered the challenges of the Pace back parking lot. Photo: Alexis Wilkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back-to-school means back-to-stress for students, teachers and parents. While all students have to manage the juggling act of classes, teachers, social life and extracurricular activities, many also have to deal with the stress of carpool. For most juniors, parking on campus is a new privilege. Almost everyone looks forward to the opportunity to drive themselves to school. However, enjoying this new privilege  turned out to be a bit problematic the first day of school.

Parents and students complained that the carpool line was backed up all the way past the West Paces shopping center. Bad first-day traffic occurs every year. However, there is an easy way to avoid it: learning how to park. Below are a few tips for both new and returning drivers to help make parking swift and smooth.

  1. Know where your spot is. Find the time before school starts to scope out the parking lot and find the best way to reach your spot in the morning. Assigned numbers for each spot make this extremely simple.
  2. Be sure to drive in the lane from which it is easiest to pull into your spot. Keep your turning radius in mind.
  3. Make sure no one is blocking your spot. Give yourself enough room to pull in with one smooth turn of the wheel.
  4. Check. Are you between the white lines? If yes, good job. If no, don’t whip it in reverse. Check your surroundings. Is anyone behind you? Is the carpool line at a good stopping point so you won’t block traffic? Once it’s convenient and safe, reverse slowly with enough room to readjust between the lines. This tip also works with pulling out at the end of the day.
  5. Never distract yourself while driving through the parking lot. Parking and pulling out both require your undivided attention to be done correctly.

One of the most important tips to remember is this: breathe. Don’t stress behind the wheel. Patience is a virtue. If you find yourself stuck with carpool anxiety, try getting to school early to beat the crowd. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”