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  • Penelope Kraus

Adventures of a Junior Driver

As school starts, there are tons of new beginnings. These may be new teachers, a new backpack, or in some cases for juniors, a new mode of transportation. While it is hard to imagine (and hard to trust) many of your peers and friends behind the wheel, that is the reality of junior year.


Passengers feel anxiety, and drivers also experience anxiety behind the wheel after receiving their licenses. However, new drivers often don’t take the time to settle into driving with passengers. Instead, they dive head first into the experience. Oftentimes you may see clown cars of juniors parking on Artillery and Old Colony, or you may see a group of friends blasting music while driving through Scarsdale Village and down the Pipeline.


This newfound freedom of leaving during lunch periods is one that juniors take full advantage of. Not having to be tied down at school or having to sit in the lunchroom is seen as a perk. However, the adventures of these “free” juniors may fall just short of being considered advantages. Let me introduce you to the downfall of junior driving: parking.


Parking on Artillery:

Driving up the heavily wooded road, what creature do you see most often? A deer? A bunny? A squirrel? The answer is… a junior. Juniors have made Artillery their home. A large line of parked cars span the long road, so you can only imagine the chaos. This chaos includes teenagers attempting to parallel park, and watching, you would be surprised to hear that parallel parking is a skill needed to receive a driver's license.


While skills may be lacking, it is impossible to deny the fact that juniors being able to drive to and park near school is a privilege. But with privilege comes (say it with me)... responsibility. This responsibility for juniors is not only operating a motor vehicle but to venture through the woods without twisting an ankle.


There are two choices of paths to reach class. Option one is paved (unevenly), and when you reach the end of the seemingly mile-long path, you are met with every junior’s best friend: mud. However, don’t be fooled; it isn’t always just a little mud. During rainstorms you will find a swamp. If you don’t feel like wearing waders to school, maybe consider path number two.


Path number two is not glorious, either. This path is basically a clearing in the trees. While there are steps towards the end of the path, the rest is made of roots and rocks. If you leave this path without having slipped, twisted an ankle, or gotten a tick, you surely deserve an award.


While I am being somewhat dramatic considering the path is manageable during the spring, the fall and wintertime make my exaggerations understandable. When leaves fall on the ground, nothing is in plain sight. This has led many to not only walk on the ground but to fall on it, as well. This is the same case as when snow falls; not only is the ground covered, but when it melts, what is left? You guessed it, mud. In any case, there aren’t better options for a junior driver, as you will see with their next parking option.


Parking on Old Colony:

Personally, I believe this to be the best parking option for junior year. You can avoid school traffic when going to and from school, and you avoid the mud of Artillery. But, Old Colony isn’t all that, either. You run into the same issues of parallel parking with the added bonus of needing to avoid blocking someone's driveway or walkway, oh joy.


While this is an easy task to accomplish, it leads to a trek back to school. If you are late, especially after lunch, to get back to school you have to park several houses away from the campus, leading to an awkward jog to class. The cherry on top of all this is that you have to move your car every two hours or else you receive a ticket. I don’t know if you have realized this, but not only are juniors not very timely by foot, but their parking definitely is not timely either, leading to both tardiness and tickets. Other than that, there aren’t many disadvantages to parking on Old Colony, so take it from a junior (who can’t even drive yet), parking on Old Colony is the way to go.


In sum, current and incoming juniors, I wish you good luck with all of your parking and driving experiences. And to anyone else able to drive, I wish you the best of luck being on the roads with these new drivers.

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