You drive to your 11 a.m. class with 10 minutes to spare. After drinking too much coffee, anxiety creeps in because you know that parking at Florida State University feels more like a battlefield (especially Woodward Garage). You don’t want to look like that guy who awkwardly walks into class five minutes late as the center of attention with sweat beads dripping down their face. The time ticks closer to 11 and you debate parking in a forbidden faculty spot close to your building. If you’ve gotten stuck in this situation before, you’re not alone in the FSU parking apocalypse.
These 10 FSU parking complaints have come out of every Noles mouth, along with a few four-letter words.
1. You have to drop your S.O. off at class
Shout out to the ultimate girlfriends and boyfriends out there who understand the parking struggle. They risk driving through the treacherous Florida State University campus full of careless jaywalkers, skateboarders, bikers and the extreme razor scooterists. Tens of thousands of students look for the same spot on any given day, making it nearly impossible to find a student parking spot during class hours. Don’t be surprised if your significant other asks you to drop them off at class. Aren’t you half the reason they left 10 minutes late anyway? “I drop my girlfriend off at her classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays because her classes are in the business buildings, which have like four student spots total. Not to mention her class starts at 11 a.m., which is the most hellish hour for parking at FSU,” senior Mike Bruhn said.
2. Trucks take up three spots for absolutely no reason
You eye an open parking spot in a full parking garage, then pull up to realize the lifted truck with massive tires next to it already occupies that spot along with the two other spots beside it. You probably road rage a little, check the time and realize you will arrive late to class because of this truck, then rage a little more and move on to the next floor. These perpetrators who take up multiple spots are highly frowned upon by every other driver looking for one of the three very spots they seize. “I love how everyone with a truck takes up 12 parking spots. I’ve seen ‘grown’ college students fighting over parking like it’s life or death. And I’m not going to lie, I’m ready to join the fight when the trucks take over,” senior Johnathon Holt said.
3. Stalkers lurk throughout the lots
We’ve all felt like the victim of parking spot stalkers who just don’t give a damn anymore. They exhausted the top two floors of Traditions Garage and the basement; no spots in sight. They see no option but to find you: the nearest student trudging toward your car. You suddenly feel someone watching you. Turning around, you realize a car creeps stealthily behind you, watching your every move. The backed-up traffic your stalker has ruthlessly caused makes you want to walk slower despite them. You finally reach your car, but you take your precious time before backing out, once again just to spite your stalker. You check your phone, get comfy in your seat, check your phone again just for the hell of it, then finally put it in reverse.
4. Students kidnap you for your spot
This one goes out to the students who take stalking to the next level. They’ve turned into seasoned professionals at this game over time, and they have no fear using their confidence and empty passenger seat to secure a parking spot. They suspiciously pull up beside you and you try to avoid eye contact at all costs. Once you hear their window start to roll down, you know the deal. They ask you if you’re leaving, then they persuade you with a free ride to your car like a van offering candy. “When I was offered a ride in the Woodward Garage, I was pretty weirded out, but then again it was hot as hell outside and my backpack was a hundred pounds, so I got in the car,” alumni Nicole Carroll said. (We don’t suggest jumping in any more random cars outside of the FSU parking garages, Nicole.)
5. You have to empty your bank account for meters
We deserve more student spots at a university of 40,000+ people. During my freshman year at FSU, I racked up over $300 in parking tickets. This sounds outrageous, I know. I can explain. I lived in the ancient Kellum dorm, which offered two small parking lots to share with two neighboring dorms. How the hell can three dorms, each with 10 floors of students, possibly fit in two parking lots? The ideal parking spots at Kellum stay reserved for faculty. Coming home at 3 a.m. some nights, I didn’t want to search tirelessly for a spot, finally park miles away from my dorm just to walk back alone in the dark. I parked in reserved faculty spots a few too many nights and woke up with countless $15 parking tickets tacked under my windshield wipers.
6. You leave for any destination an hour early
If you arrive on campus to commence the hunt for a parking spot an hour before your class, we give you kudos. You’ve finally learned what it takes to secure a parking spot without question. Surely, you’ve had plenty of discouraging trial-and-error parking experiences throughout your time at FSU, otherwise you wouldn’t know the key to arriving on time to your classes, even if it is the biggest buzzkill to practice when you just want to nap and Netflix before class. “I spend longer parking than I do in class. I have to arrive to campus an hour before my 50-minute classes, and sometimes I still don’t find parking. Not to mention, having classes at the remote engineering campus, then traversing to the main campus and finding a parking spot is basically impossible with the time I have between classes,” senior Nikki Allgeyer said.
7. We have microscopic parking lots
The student parking lots at FSU successfully hold about 10 cars total. I’m joking, but also gravely serious. The day you find an empty spot within a five-minute walking distance from your class without leaving your house three hours early is the day you need to buy a lottery ticket. I’m convinced the university fills the lots with decoy cars just to give you a free panic attack each day. I mean, do those cars ever move? Or do students fill the lots, camping out in their cars each night, never moving or leaving except for class? “They should be called a parking little, cause it ain’t a lot,” says junior Nicholas Holt. Save your time searching through student lots and head to the parking garages for a better chance. These lots remain an unsolved mystery.
8. we have Gates of lies
Destiny will find you a parking spot at 6 p.m. Where you’ll find a parking spot, however, remains a mystery. The faculty parking lots raise their gates after 6:30 p.m. and allow all students to park in them freely—or so they say. The faculty gates infamously work on their own time. Some nights, they open around 7 p.m. Other nights, they don’t feel like opening at all. This is great when you arrive at 6:45 p.m. expecting open gates and ample parking, only to find closed gates and a sign full of lies. You and your sorrows must now drive down the one-way street that lands you all the way at the stadium to turn around and try again in the hunt for a parking spot. Don’t base next semester’s schedule times off these distrustful faculty lots.
9. Reckless Jaywalkers
The notorious students of FSU constantly dart blindly into the middle of oncoming traffic. A bus is no match for an FSU jaywalker, skateboarder or bicyclist. On the pedestrian side, it only feels right to blend in with the crowd and race across the streets when cars approach violently from every direction. A stop sign for pedestrians means “run quickly” here at FSU. A green light for cars means “lightly jog across the street and assume nobody will hit you.” On the driver’s side, road rage reaches new heights and tests patience like nothing else before when that light turns green and a crowd of students walk carelessly across the street. Parking garages with their dim lights and thick cement walls obscure drivers’ visions around turns where students lurk. We know college is hard but damn, look both ways twice and save us a lawsuit.
10. All those Spot reservations
You can’t make reservations on specific spots unless your name is John Thrasher (cue the FSU fight song). As a friend, you are obliged to physically occupy a spot with your body. Yes, students at FSU will literally stand in a parking spot to hold it for their friend. This doesn’t go over well, nine times out of 10. Actually, more like 10 times out of 10. “On my way to class one day I found the only open parking spot and started to turn into it. Then I realized there was a girl standing in the middle of it with her hands turning me away. I rolled down my window and she said her friend was on her way to class and she was saving her spot. So I said she can either move or get squished. She moved,” junior Rebeca Apel said. We understand your road rage, Rebeca.