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   With a school as small as Pinewood, and a parking lot even smaller, it is easy to notice when a new driver (and an even shinier new car) is parked in your favorite parking spot. I think we all know who I am talking about here- that’s right, the sophomores. Often thrown under the bus for driving too early, and taking up the upperclassmen’s preferred parking spots, sophomores have been increasingly joining the driving scene at school.

  I began driving my sophomore year in February. Hearing rumors that they were no longer going to allow sophomores to drive, or that they were going to make them park outside on Fremont, sent shivers down my spine. All those hours spent practicing my driving skills with a flustered parent would be thrown out the window. As a junior, I can see where the anger arises when one is forced to get double parked or even park outside on the street. However, sophomores deserve their parking spots as much as we do.

   Pinewood’s “senior island,” infamous for its clear proclamation of seniority, sets the stage for the difficult compromise ahead of us on the parking lot. Many seniors feel that after two or three years of struggling for parking, they should rightfully have their spots in the lot without competition. Numerous upperclassman don’t want the sophomores to be completely excluded from driving, instead wanting them to simply park outside of school.

   However, having lots of cars parked outside of campus not only causes the issue of students being off campus to come up, but may also upset neighbors in the area.

   If you want a good spot, you better get to school early. We can’t blame the sophomores for taking our spots if we coolly pull up at 7:58 a.m. at the ring of the first bell in a scramble to get to class. Although it may be tempting to say that the only solution is to withdraw the sophomores’ right to drive, think of the consequences. All high school camaraderie would be smashed to pieces.

    As for myself, being able to drive as a sophomore opened up a sea of opportunities. Not only was I able to pick up my sister, but a huge weight was lifted off the shoulders of my parents, who didn’t have to leave work early to come get me after school. Whether it was going to Whole Foods to pick up last-minute dinner items or running small errands like picking up the dry cleaning, my ability to drive simplified their lives as well
as my own.

   As high school drivers, we can all relate to the feeling of freedom one encounters with a car key lanyard dangling out of our pockets. That feeling is one that many sophomores would be resentful to give up in the face of seniority in the what now has become the competitive arena of upperclassmen. The Pinewood parking lot has grown into an overflowing and crowded scene. Students have no better option than to create non-existent spots and even park outside of the lot itself. Although some may say that the sophomores contribute to this mess, I believe that the sophomores are no more entitled to the parking lot than any junior or senior. Maybe the real issue is that there is not enough parking in the first place. But what did the poor, innocent sophomores have to do with that? sPut the blame on the sophomores all you want, but as they start to roll in their new shiny wheels, be ready to get to school at 7 a.m. because the early bird is sure to get the worm.