Seniors embrace the opportunity to park in the senior lot

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Seniors embrace the opportunity to park in the senior lot

Alice Godwin, a senior, maneuvers her way out of the Senior Lot after school.

Alice Godwin, a senior, maneuvers her way out of the Senior Lot after school.

Molly Donaldson

Alice Godwin, a senior, maneuvers her way out of the Senior Lot after school.

Molly Donaldson

Molly Donaldson

Alice Godwin, a senior, maneuvers her way out of the Senior Lot after school.

Molly Donaldson, Staff Writer

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After years of walking, getting rides from parents, or taking the bus to school, many Carlmont students embrace the opportunity, when provided, to drive themselves to school.

These students, ranging from sophomores to seniors, often enjoy the independence that driving provides and appreciate the newfound autonomy that comes with it.

But with Carlmont‘s large student driver population and frequent traffic issues, students have difficulty finding adequate parking within the school’s vicinity. Seniors, however, have a provided school lot in which they can park (fittingly named the senior lot) and many of them appreciate the opportunity to park there.

JoJo Lin, a senior, said, “I park in the senior lot because I used to park on a side street and it was always difficult to find a spot. In the lot, I always find a spot.”

However, some students still opt to park on nearby streets to escape the traffic that occurs in the lot or to avoid paying the fee required to park in the senior lot year-round. 

“I park on Chula Vista [a Belmont street adjacent to the school] because I’d rather walk up the hill than pay $100 for parking,” said George Mathew, a senior. “It also takes forever to get out of the parking lots after school so it’s faster and easier to park on the hill.”

Popular alternative parking spots include Chula Vista Drive, parking slots on San Carlos Avenue, and Club Drive, a hill located on the San Carlos side of the school. 

Nonetheless, many still believe that the senior lot congestion is bearable, as the other advantages found in the lot compensate for it. 

“Although the traffic can get intense, the senior parking lot is fairly accessible, a meeting place for friends before and after school, and also a great place for us to display our cars,” Anson Fong, a senior, said.

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  • Student cars are parked in the Senior Lot, a popular location among students for parking.

  • Rachel Amir Chatman, a senior, drives through the Senior Lot on her way home.

  • Godwin and Chatman have a conversation through the windows of their cars.

  • Additional parking spots are also used by seniors.

  • Seniors Cathy Skinner and Jackson Cook carpool together after school.

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Additionally, driving to school is appreciated by students because the previous methods they used, such as walking or public transportation, were comparatively much more difficult.

“I used to take the bus to school every day. Nothing feels better than not having to depend on the bus schedule to be on time,” Fong said. 

Students also enjoy the ability to socialize in the lot before school or even drive to and from school together. Moreover, driving themselves or friends to school creates a sense of independence in students, something they will have to get used to upon graduation. 

“Driving’s pretty fun because you’re more independent,” Mathew said. “It’s also better to connect with people because I don’t have to always ask people for rides everywhere and depend on them or call my mom to pick me up and take me wherever.”

Driving to school has proven an effective method for getting students to school in a timely and convenient manner and many seniors are grateful for the opportunity to transport themselves to school. 

“It is more convenient for my family for me to drive myself and it’s also more efficient for me to drive myself,” Lin said. “Traffic can be frustrating but I have never been late to first period, so driving myself has been successful.”

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