By Diya Ramesh (’23)
The time is 4:00 P.M., and you feel like you have been waiting for your entire life. The Media Center is slowly emptying, but you aren’t leaving anytime soon. You haven’t eaten in hours, and there is no food available. You try to distract yourself with some homework, but there is only so much you can do. It feels like you are becoming one with the chair, like you’ll never leave. You’re tempted to text your parents and ask when they’re coming, but they work so hard and try their best, so it isn’t fair to be mad at them. Finally, you succumb and check your phone. The time is 4:01 P.M., and only one minute has passed. Sound familiar?
Well, for many International Academy Students, it is. The problem is this: the parents of many students work long hours, and they have no alternative, but to have their children wait after school. Unfortunately, there are no buses or a shuttle service for those who live far away. Some cannot find a carpool with other students who live in their area; Uber or other methods of public transport aren’t always safe. So, to at least somewhat address this problem, the International Academy should expand its parking lot. I know what you’re thinking: “What does the parking lot have to do with waiting after school?” Well, currently, the parking lot of the school is quite small, so spaces are only offered to juniors or seniors. However, there are some sophomores, who are old enough and able to drive, but they simply cannot, due to having nowhere to park their cars. So, if the school had a larger parking lot and more students could drive to school, it could improve the situation for parents, students, and the school, help younger students, and even possibly increase the popularity/enrollment of the school.
First of all, if the school had a larger parking lot and more students could drive to school, it could make the situation easier for parents, students, and the school. Obviously, if more students were able to drive home from school, students would not have to wait after school. At home, they could have access to snacks, rest, and concentrate on homework, instead of being distracted by other students at school. Parents would not have to plan their days and work schedules around picking their children up, and they could work for as long as they want or needed to without having to rush home. Additionally, earlier in the year, the school had an issue with a broken chairs, so everyday the Media Center had to be closed early, after Ms. Janek or Ms. Miner left school, until they could figure out what happened. Not only was this inconvenient for the professionals and the school – as they would have to buy or fix the chair – the students that were still waiting were not allowed in classrooms, either. They had nowhere to go, though they had no hand in breaking the chair. However, if more students left school on their own, they would be able to leave earlier, so there would be less of a chance of any damage to the school or issues caused by students.
Secondly, if the school had a larger parking lot and more students could drive to school, it could help younger students. In Michigan, teens can learn to drive at age 14 and 8 months and earn their Level 2 License (driving without a parent or guardian) at age 16. So, obviously, not all of the students in our school would be old enough or would know how to drive, even if there was a larger parking lot. Additionally, they might not have access to a car, or their parents might not feel comfortable with them driving alone, just yet. However, if more of the students who can drive could drive to school, they could also drive some of their younger peers, who live nearby, home. Parents could even pay these students for this service, and it would be a win-win situation for all.
Finally, if the school had a larger parking lot and more students could drive to school, it could possibly even increase the popularity/enrollment of the school. This is because the International Academy does not have a bus or shuttle system of any kind, throwing off some working parents, especially if there aren’t people in their area to carpool with. So, they may not want to risk struggling throughout the year to pick up their child and may instead send them to their home high school. However, through all the previously mentioned benefits of having a bigger parking lot, they may find a viable solution and enroll their child. This benefits the school.
So, in conclusion, the International Academy should enlarge its parking lot, because it would make life easier for all, assist younger students, and convince prospective students to join the school. Now, when the clock reads 2:35 P.M, you don’t have to wait another second longer to go home.