Making the Best Out of the Parking Dilemma

You’ve surely heard enough about parking this year. We all received the dozens of emails sent over the summer warning students, faculty and employees of the “car-mageddon” that would soon be upon us. We’ve all heard the constant hum of woe from students about parking. These comments often include words such as, “sucks,” “so far away,” “%$#@” and comments ranging from, “parking is awful” to “I’m dropping out so I don’t have to park.” And as the weather gets cooler, it’s bound to get worse.

But maybe there’s an upside to the parking situation. I know, I know, sounds impossible. But listen: the Rec is here for you. We’ve thought about the parking problem and planned accordingly to get you through this.

Just take a look:

  • The Rec has over 70 Group Exercise Classes this semester. These were added to accommodate for all the students and staff who would be arriving on campus earlier and leaving later because of parking. So get to campus early (get a good parking spot) and take a Group Ex Class while you’re waiting for class.
  • Two words: Bike Loan. We invested in 100 bikes that students could win a lottery for easier campus commuting. If you weren’t lucky enough to get one of these bikes, consider bringing your own and pretending you won it.
  • The Rec encourages you to park far away (on purpose!) and walk to class or to the Rec for these benefits:
    • You could burn 100 calories by walking one mile. Use this calculator to see how many calories your walk to class burns. It all adds up!
    • Strolling across the rolling hills of campus builds endurance and works your calves. Especially that slope in front of Elliott – gets me every time.
    • Parking far away from the Rec before your work out serves a good warm up.
  • Keep an eye out for a walking program inspired by the parking situation that is sponsored by the Rec; it’s in the works!

An experiment:

To see how far I was truly walking because of the parking situation, I wore a pedometer for a day.

Look at all the beautiful sights I saw:


The Central Heating Plant

The Grizz oversees all of his construction projects.

The Grizz overseeing all of his construction projects.

But seriously, this is pretty beautiful

Seriously, this is pretty beautiful.

And look at all the exercise I did!

2.02 miles!

2.02 miles!

Granted, I wore this on a Monday, which it my busiest day. The measurement also includes trips to the bathroom and walking to the vending machines in the back of the Rec to get Reese’s Pieces (hey, I earned them considering I walked two miles). Your daily habit may not be two miles, but take the amount you are walking and multiply that by days, weeks and months and you’ve got yourself a pretty respectable habit.

Parking is bad, but it’s also an excuse to stay on campus longer, participate more and get more out of your college experience. For OU students, difficult parking is part of that experience, but you can turn that around. Make The Rec and fitness part of your before or after class routine and try to forget about parking for a while. You won’t regret it, I promise.


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