An Open Letter To Parking Services At Mississippi State

An Open Letter To Parking Services At Mississippi State

Let's be honest — the tickets have gotten a little excessive.

To whom it may concern,

Who knew it would take me this long to finally write an "open letter?" I've waited this long because, well, they're a little cliche, and I wanted to save it for when I wanted to write about something important, and, suffice to say, this is important.

Let me start of by saying that Mississippi State is my second home, only better, because here I have my own apartment, my sweet friends, and the Biscuit Shop. My classes are amazing, I get to cook all my own food (no offense, Fresh Foods) and sometimes it goes a whole day without raining here. What else do I need?

I'll tell you what.

Look, I know you guys are just doing your jobs when you give out those tickets. I get it. Everyone has to make a living, and you're just doing what you have to do. Here's the thing, though — when you have a dedicated team of individuals whose sole job is to dole out parking tickets to unfortunate, miss-parked students, you might want to take a look at the "why" instead of the "what." For instance, why do I see kids circling parking lots they have a decal for? Why are some lots so overbooked that some kids have to ride a shuttle despite having paid for a decal? Why do some of us pay $135 for a parking pass (outrageous, by the way) only to find the only available spaces are in gravel parking? I mean, I know the University isn't starving for money. You can't be — this is an SEC school, funded by the state, with so many donors that seemingly every classroom building, residence hall, fountain, bench and brick, was paid for by somebody.

I've seen kids make the time and effort to appeal $30 parking tickets (that's how you know, it's a principle thing, not always a money thing) just to get shut down. I've seen my own roommate get a ticket for parking in the B&N lot for 15 minutes to pick up $660 worth of textbooks (also outrageous). Are you trying to teach us a lesson? Who are those spots for, if not for us, the kids paying upwards of $20,000 every year to come to school here? My other roommate was late to class this past week, the very first week of school, because she wasn't able to find a parking space. I mean, isn't the whole point of college to, well, get an education? What does it say about our parking situation if students are late to class because they can't find a parking space in their own zone? Just my opinion — but I'm not sure we really needed suite-style upperclassmen residence halls when there are like, a hundred apartment complexes nearby — especially when that space could've been used to remedy our already-hectic parking situation.

I heard that this year's batch of freshmen is the largest in history. What's going to happen next year, when many of these students live off campus, and need parking spaces? It's not like we really have any more to spare as it is — just this morning I spent 15 minutes driving around the northwest commuter lots, praying that someone, anyone, might be heading home. My roommates and I joked last night that this would all be worth it in the end if it turned out that every time we got dinged $30, that money got added into the "Get Better Parking" fund. If only, right?

I don't know how much power you guys have. I really don't. So I don't know if it's in your capacity to do anything about it. Know, though, that I'm definitely not the first to complain, and I certainly won't be the last.

And, maybe, until something can be done — could you cut us some slack? Just a little? Even police officers give out warnings, and, I mean, we are kind of already throwing our money at you.

Kind regards,

Already In Debt

Cover Image Credit: Mississippi State University Department of Housing

Popular Right Now

Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.


Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!


So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

Related Content

Facebook Comments