Parking at Severn is a controversial topic. Every day in advisory, I hear tales of this morning’s parking struggles, and conversations about parking continue all day. Quotes like these float through the hallways: “I circled around to find parking three times this morning and completely missed advisory after I had to park at Cypress.” “Severn needs to figure out a parking situation,” students exclaim, venting to teachers. Parking is arguably the biggest issue at Severn that students deal with daily, but there is not much done about it. Junior Cole Keefer says, “Parking is hands down the worst thing at Severn.” Senior Emma Beall says, “It’s really frustrating as a student trying to park every morning when there are parents parked in every spot, just waiting to drop kids off then leaving. That was a spot I could have had! I also hate finding out it’s small event parking but didn’t know until I get to school and read the email that was sent at 11 at night. I feel that there are a lot of parking issues that need to be addressed.”
When complaints are brought up, we are often told to just “get here earlier.” But when this message gets told to everyone, everyone is here 30 minutes early and still struggling to find parking. Waking up before the sun rises to get to school early enough to find parking is not only annoying, but also dangerous. After staying up the night before to study for tests and waking up at 6:30 in the morning for my 40-minute commute, I know I am sleep deprived while driving, and my quick decision making skills struggle — a vital part of being behind the wheel. I know I am frustrated when I am sitting in my car waiting to go into school thinking “those 20 more minutes of sleep would be really nice right now.”
Senior Sarah Gershman says, “I think one of the big issues is that teachers say there’s plenty of spaces by Alumni House on Maple, which is not true. Many students park there and students have to park in no parking zones, handicap spots, etc., in order to get to school. The school seems oblivious and aware at the same time — they get angry at us but don’t provide a solution. The junior parking at Cypress is not being enforced and there just is not enough parking!”
The CDC states, “Studies have shown that going too long without sleep can impair your ability to drive the same way as drinking too much alcohol.” More than 6,000 fatal crashes every year are related to drowsy driving, and drivers under the age of 25 are involved in at least 50% of these crashes. SleepEducation.org says “Teens and young adults have a higher risk of drowsy driving because they are newer drivers who are often chronically sleep deprived. The combination of sleepy teens driving with limited skills and limited experience poses a danger to drivers and pedestrians.” Every teen knows the dangers of driving while intoxicated, but not many people think about how sleep deprivation can impact our judgement and driving.
This is a complicated issue, lacking a clear solution, but many students agree that parents of students need to be aware of the situation as much as we are. Cars dropping off students are often blocking the road, and do not let students pull out of spaces or cross the road when walking to the buildings. Although it’s hard early in the morning, I think we all could appreciate some kindness to each other in the community, to make our lives just a little easier.