Sharks. Vultures. Stalkers. Whatever you want to call them, I am sure that you have encountered them on campus and have probably been one yourself. I am, of course, talking about students that circle the campus parking lots after a class gets out, waiting for someone to leave. But before you become irate and call me an uneducated, hypocritical, (fill in the blank with your favorite obscenity) I will confess: I too have followed someone to his or her car. I am not writing about actual act of chasing down your fellow coeds, but rather the manner in which it is commonly done.
Seeing how the end of the semester is approaching quickly, I want to leave my fellow commuters with a few thoughts to ponder over the holiday break.
First and foremost, if you are going to stalk me (to my car that is) — or anyone, for that matter, — be polite. They’re called manners — simple concepts most of us learned in pre-school. Instead of honking at me to get my attention and becoming mad when I ignore you, try rolling down your window and uttering one of the following common greetings: “Excuse me,” “Hi,” “I was wondering if …”. Any will do, just be creative.
Next, if I or another student says, “I’m sorry, I’m not leaving,” respond as politely as when you first addressed me. Do not follow the example of a certain young lady in a certain luxury vehicle and call the person you are following a name starting with “B” and rhyming with “itch.”
Also, keep in mind that it may be smart to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the pedestrian in front of you — especially if it’s early. I know that my walking speed doesn’t exceed 1 mile per hour — if that — at 9 a.m.. Tailing me closely won’t make me hurry, especially if you run over one of my legs. If you are close enough to read the writing on the pedestrian’s backpack, hit the brake; it’s the left pedal.
As a quick side note, offering someone a ride is definitely nice, especially if they are parked out in BFE. (If you don’t know what that stands for, ask a friend.) However, if you drive a large van with blacked-out windows, don’t be surprised if they turn down your offer.
As I said before, I too have followed someone to his or her car. I realize the necessity of it. The reality of the matter is that the parking situation stinks. Whether we like it or not, it always will. The only way around the situation for now is to arrive early or follow someone to his or her car. But come on, driving around the parking lot like a maniac is not going to solve anything. I realize that not everyone drives like this, but I am almost positive everyone has encountered someone who does.
So for now, I apologize ahead of time for anyone following me next semester. My schedule personally is not going to be favorable. So chances are, if you are following me early in the morning, I’m not going to be leaving, just getting books out of my car. Aside from slapping a sign on my butt that says so, the best way to deal with the situation is to, as I suggested, be polite. Everyone will be much happier if you are.
Oh, and to that certain girl in the luxury car, it is creative that you choose to block the lanes while you wait to speedily chase after someone leaving, but I don’t think the drivers in the line of cars that forms behind you appreciate it.
Shannon McPherson is a junior majoring in public relations and is an Oracle Opinion Editor.