The Highs and Lows of Senior Parking Spot Painting

Seniors at Tuscarora High school talk about their experience with painting their parking spot


By: Emily Bailey

For years throughout Loudoun County, one way for seniors to celebrate the beginning of their last year in grade school is to participate in painting a parking space. 

Having the freedom and creative liberty to your very own 9’x18’ rectangle is one thing that seems to always pump up rising seniors, even if you would not necessarily consider yourself an artist. 

“I love being a senior and being allowed to paint a spot, it makes me feel special,” said Mariah Goodwyn, a senior at Tuscarora High School.

Well, this exciting tradition is no different for students at Tuscarora High School. Starting way back in the summer of 2022, the first hurdle students faced when selecting a parking spot came earlier to some than others. Christopher Tally, a senior at Tuscarora, said “getting a parking spot was easy.” 

The process of getting a parking spot can be very easy to the ones who know where to look for information. Nowadays, most of the school’s announcements have been more accessible by using well known apps, like Instagram. 

Tally states “some friends and I went into school in August, on the designated day, and requested spots from Ms. Smart.” Tally then goes on to praise Breana Smart, Tuscarora High School staff, and how he “admired her ability to talk to us back to back. I can only imagine how much work it must have been to keep everything organized.” 

Though Tally and his group of friends were able to get parking spots with nothing but smooth sailing, some had a more difficult time. 

“I had to email staff multiple times cause they weren’t answering, and I didn’t even get to choose my spot,” said Katie Rose, a senior at Tuscarora High School. 

However Rose also goes on to say how she “was out of town,” and thus was unable to attend the designated days to pick out a parking spot. One can only imagine how hard it just have been to get a parking spot only a few days before the start of school.

Though Roes may not have had the best start to her parking picking experience. She, like many others, agrees that they like the new way student parking was being done, even at the expense of being, more or less, forced to paint your space. 

“Yes, I like the way things are set up,” Rose said, “but I was annoyed that I still had to spend money on a parking spot with paint. I didn’t even wanna paint in the first place.” Tally seems to have a similar opinion on the matter.“I have mixed feelings with the new parking spot plan,” said Tally. 

On one hand, he thinks that this new plan encourages students to get to school earlier and on time, but the negative effects this new system may have on kids is still a concern. 

“My negative feelings against the new parking is that seniors have to paint their spot or they will be subjected to open parking. Paint is expensive, especially if you have more than one child, like my brother and I. Students may have taken the initiative to get a parking spot early only to find out that they have to buy paint, and paint it, if they want to park there. Many people may not be able to buy the expensive paint or the various supplies required,” Tally said. 

Nevertheless, for some, parking spot painting was always the plan. From last year to this year, student parking has undergone some drastic changes. From $200 a year for parking, to nothing at all, no one can argue that expensive paint supplies trump having to pay $200 up front. 

Devon Clyde, a senior at Tuscarora High School, stated, “I think that less people would paint their spots if they had to pay the additional $200 for the spot.” 

Even so, some seniors did run into some trouble while painting their spots. For some the challenge arose while trying to get the design just right. 

“I had enough paint and supplies, it was mainly just getting the design looking right that took awhile,” said Roes. 

Goodwyn seemed to run into the same problem stating, “It was fairly hard to paint the designs.” 

Unfortunately not everyone was so lucky. “I used more white paint for my base coat then I bought, and I had to get more brushes later on,” said Clyde. 

Though, as they say, always plan ahead. For many students, procrastination is in the air, and problems come up even before the designated day for painting. 

“The process of getting the paint, however, was a little challenging, as I went shopping the night before and most of the paint was sold out. I had to go to two stores because the first was sold out,” said Tally. 

Though there still are unavoidable problems that no one would have been able to foreseen. The second designated day, for any seniors that may not have finished painting the first day, was canceled due to rain. To the seniors still needing to finish painting- remember to check any emails from Mrs. Crawford and check out @tuscarora23 on instagram for any updates on rescheduling. 

Nevertheless, parking spot painting is a special and thrilling experience. From picking out your design, getting your paint and supplies, then to actually sharing and swapping supplies, tips, and tricks with your fellow peers and friends, remember that painting a parking spot is a senior privilege and you don’t want to miss out! 

“I think that painting spots is something that is special as a senior to do,” said Clyde, “and that you can look forward to as an underclassmen.”