See article published on TheCSPN: Sweet Spot
Sweet Spot | Seniors choose curb side delivery over hassle of driving to school
Senior Andy Trenaman has a chauffeur who drives him to school every day. That same chauffeur even picks him up and takes him home.
According to Trenaman, although driving to school is a highly regarded transition to being an upperclassman, riding the bus is still a viable option for seniors.
“I honestly think it’s a waste of money (because) when you ride the bus you can put a bunch more people on it,” Trenaman said. “And it also drives you right next to the school, so you don’t have to walk from the pool lot…I know people have senior spots but it still takes them a while to get out.”
Senior Michael Chen is also in the same boat as Trenaman — or rather, in the same bus. But unlike Trenaman, Chen said he does not drive to school because he hasn’t received his driver’s license yet. Even though he doesn’t cherish the freedom and independence that comes for most teenagers when they drive, according to Chen, those feelings weren’t worth the time and financial investment.
“I haven’t started the process of learning how to drive yet, so I’m just going to wait until I’m 18…this coming June after graduation, so then I won’t have to take driving school,” Chen said. “I don’t have any need to drive (right now), and I don’t want to spend the money on gas or make my parents spend extra money on gas, so I just stick to the bus.”
Although Trenaman has his license, he considered factors like practicality and parking lot traffic when he made the decision to continue riding the bus.
“When everyone drives to school, it all gets piled up and I think it’s bad for the environment,” Trenaman said. “It seemed kind of inefficient compared to the bus because the bus is gonna run by the house anyway…(and) not everyone does have access to a car.”
Although there are logical reasons to ride the bus, for junior Justin Koehler, it’s not the most ideal transportation, especially since he has his license.
“The bus isn’t exactly the social scene for me,” Koehler said. “I just go to get to school, and that’s about it…I don’t feel like an upperclassman.”
While not all the upperclassmen drive, according to Administrative Assistant Annette Wood, the ones that do often have a sense of entitlement when it comes to driving and obtaining prime parking spots.
“As a matter of fact, the students that get caught parking in the staff parking lot are usually seniors,” Wood said. “And they’re usually seniors that haven’t even registered for a parking spot, but they feel like they’re entitled to park close to the building and so they just do it.”
In reality, the senior lot only has 516 spaces — not nearly enough for the 822 seniors, according to Wood.
“It’s something we like to do,” Wood said. “We wanna help make the seniors’ year a great year…(But) as the classes are getting larger, it’s becoming more of an issue. This will probably be the first year that I won’t be able to get everybody into the senior lot at some point in time during the year.”
According to Wood, senior spots are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis, and Chen said he was fortunately able to avoid the stress many seniors went through last year. Although he doesn’t have assigned seats or parents picking him up from the bus stop anymore, according to Chen, riding the bus his senior year is not much different.
“(My first memory of riding the bus was that) it was scary finding a seat; and it still kind of is,” Chen said. “I guess you could see it as a social status symbol that if you drive you’re cool, but I really don’t think that applies.”
While Trenaman and Chen are able to remain indifferent to the social stigma of not driving to school, according to Trenaman, others usually respond with disbelief when they find out he rides the bus despite his seniority.
“(They say), ‘How do you ride the bus? That’s awful. Oh my gosh, you have to like sit it on it,’” Trenaman said. “And I (say), ‘Don’t you have to do that in a car? Except you actually have to pay attention.’”