Dear juniors who park in the senior lot

Gauntlet Editor-in-Chief Sully Maley implores juniors who use the limited senior lot spaces to reconsider their parking habits.


Sully Maley

My “high-performance machine,” as my boss Victor calls it, parked next to a JUNIOR in the SENIOR lot.

Dear juniors who park in the senior lot,


How was the ride in this morning? Nice? That’s great! Oh, me? I spent half an hour battling traffic through two blocks of downtown Bradenton, just for a boosted F-150 covered in MAGA stickers to cut me off at the last second and force me to sit through a third cycle of the light at 64 and 41. When I skidded into the parking lot at 7:58, looking for an easy spot at the front of the school so I could rush in and avoid Mr. Yanelli telling me how kind I was for joining his class, I noticed the treasured front-row spots were all taken by … you people.


Look, I was an underclassman once too. And while I dreaded that long walk across campus every morning, I never would’ve dreamed of stealing one of the coveted senior spots by the palm courtyard. It’s just not right. When you pull into a grocery store, do you park in a handicap spot because you don’t want to walk? No! Those spots belong to a group of people that you’re not a part of, just like the senior lot.


I can tell by the price tag on your Audis and BMWs that you’re not used to being told “no.” But the fact is, my banged-up 2007 Solara that my dad bought off of Craigslist for four grand deserves that spot more than your brand-new gas guzzler. I’ve waited for three years of high school to proudly display my two-door beast of a vehicle for all the teachers to see, and you haven’t. It is known as the “senior lot,” after all. The only requirement for a car to park there is that it must belong to – you guessed it – a senior. Your time will come…eventually. For now, just be patient.


Think about our class for a minute. Do you really want to infringe upon our only remaining senior privilege after the ‘Rona took the others away? All we ask is to park in our own lot while we spend our days watching the cobwebs spread across the vacant space of the Nest, mourning the days of senior cookie lines and full-fledged spirit events.


And hey! You’re lucky to have that back lot to park in whenever you want! At public schools, most students actually have to pay to park a lot further from class than you do. Juniors at schools like Lakewood Ranch are grateful to cough up $50 for a spot that requires a good hike to school. And the sophomores aren’t even allowed to park at all!


So next time you pull into school, make the right turn (both literally and figuratively) and park in the back lot. I know you probably don’t like making the long walk, or listening to the random screaming from the construction site next door, but that gives you even more to look forward to next year – when I promise you’ll be just as protective of your lot as I am.


Sully Maley