It’s a common problem among campuses: trying to find parking for morning to mid-afternoon classes. Some professors may even penalize students, which can hurt a student’s grade and potentially their GPA overall. In some cases, people start going a little crazy trying to find a spot, by sitting and blocking the flow of traffic and just waiting until a car leaves, parking in non-designated space areas like the corners of a parking garage, or almost crashing in a fight over who will get the spot first. It can be a struggle. And sometimes-even with planning-a convenient spot may not be up for grabs, but there are some ways to help with securing a parking space.

The most obvious and sometimes hardest way to help get a parking spot is showing up early before the parking rush begins, or arriving early and parking somewhere off campus that a car won’t get ticketed or towed from, and walking back to campus. Being early may also give a student a chance to sit somewhere and get some last minute work done, or just breathe easy knowing they’ve got a spot they didn’t have to struggle for. For people on a tight schedule though, this can be difficult.

Other ways like carpooling can help if more people take up that option, getting rid of some of the need for as many parking spaces. It may also help students who habitually run late to get going earlier if one of the carpoolers has a bit more of a handle on time management. Taking public transportation, riding a bike is possible, or offering rides to a parked car in exchange for the spot can also be ways to help deal with the problem of limited campus parking.

Dealing with limited parking on the students’ end is mostly just dealing with a symptom rather than the root cause. Allocating space for parking can be tricky, especially if the campus is in an area where there is little room for further development. Sometimes parking problems fix themselves, with students dropping classes, and less students meaning less filled parking spots. One way or another parking problems can be dealt with, and ideally being tardy from lack of a parking space would no longer be an issue.