The Best of Bad Parking

At this time of writing this article, ORHS bad parking was the only Oyster River affiliated school account that many found humorous. However, since then, many other Oyster River accounts have been created invading many students’ privacies. These accounts have been taken down while ORHS bad driving remains since it was deemed appropriate. 

     “@orhsbadparking requested to follow you.” As someone who is horrid at parking, I felt personally called out by this Instagram notification. 

     Fortunately, there happen to be many others like me who are terrible at parking, giving rise to the new Instagram page, ORHS Bad Parking. This new Instagram is dedicated to Oyster River student drivers who are caught with particularly awful parking jobs. Students take pictures of any cars they see with a wacky parking job and submit them to the Instagram page through a Direct Message, then the photos get posted. The comments of these posts include playful teasing, tagging the car’s owner, and other comedic responses. The page receives submissions frequently and students who get posted get a good laugh from it along with their friends. 

     Inspired by a TikTok on their For You Page, the creators of ORHS Bad Parking launched the Instagram page in early September. Since then, they have accumulated over 400 followers. The creators were initially shocked by the support they received from the student community and said, “we honestly did not expect it to gain any attention, especially not the amount it did.” 

     The creators have been enjoying running the page. “It’s been fun. It can be a little stressful to stay anonymous. Besides that aspect, it’s been an entertaining experience so far.” Adding to that, they said, “it’s even more entertaining to see people react to the posts and try to figure out who we are.” 

     Those who have been featured on the page tend to have backstories explaining their terrible parking. Addie Berglund (‘22), who has gotten posted on the page, not only had a bad parking job, but also had an incident beforehand. She explained that she normally parks in parallel parking spots by just driving into the spot. However, due to the crowd that morning, she was forced to do a back-in park job. As Berglund was backing up, the car behind her didn’t realize she was trying to park and honked. However, it was too late and she hit the car.

     Afterwards, Berglund was already late for school and frantically parked into her normal spot. However, she didn’t have time to properly adjust her parking, and someone submitted a photo to the bad parking Instagram. She said, “it was kind of frustrating at first, but I kind of knew it was going to happen. After I saw myself on [the Instagram], I started thinking about who might have sent in that picture. My parking was awful… half of my car was on the grass.” 

     Audrey Sigmon (‘23) was also featured on the ORHS bad parking instagram. Like Berglund, Sigmon found amusement in the post. She explained, “I have my own spot that I go to school early for because it is the only spot I feel comfortable to park in. It is the one in the tennis court lot right in front of the giant yellow pole.” She continued, “on their page, it looks like I was touching the pole to my car which I literally may have been since I hit that pole probably twice a week. I am so close to buying a pool noodle to tape to it so my car won’t have as much yellow paint on it. I wasn’t embarrassed to be on [the Instragram]… I thought it was so funny and everyone who usually parks near me knows it’s me and has probably seen my car bump [the yellow pole].” 

     In general, Sigmon gets a good laugh from all the posts on the instagram page. She said, “I think it’s hilarious. The owner is doing a good job keeping the cars censored [by editing over the license plates] in case people get embarrassed.” Along with this, the owner of the account mentioned they censor the cars for privacy.

     Matteo Caruccio (‘22) agreed with Sigmon and said, “I love seeing ORHS bad parking material. I’ll be scrolling and judging everyone’s bad parking jobs. It’s especially funny when you see someone you know because that’s the first thing you can bring up when you see them.” He continued, “it’s almost like a naughty and nice list, except ending up on the naughty list is funny.” 

     While Heather Clegg (‘22) agreed with Caruccio, she also said that the account can cause anxiety when she is parking. “It’s funny to see other people on there, but personally I definitely do get anxiety about being featured. I would fix my parking or make sure I’m parked in the right spot and make sure my car is straight so I wouldn’t end up on there.” 

     Clegg continued and brought up how certain types of posts on the page can be unamusing. She said that “the page is extra funny when you see your friends on there, but sometimes it’s not that funny when you can see that the cars are parked badly intentionally, like when they run over huge curbs or tree stumps… it’s not funny when it’s staged.”

     While the majority of students find the ORHS Bad Parking page humorous, Kevin Towle, a driving instructor, thought differently.. He said, “if your vehicle isn’t situated in a good spot as you go in [to a parking spot], it’s going to be tough to get out. So it may be funny when you walk by someone who is not parked too well, but you gotta wonder what type of trouble they are in when they try to leave that parking spot.” He continued, “you gotta think about the damage when you park too close [to another car]… of course you’re gonna put dents and marks on people’s cars.” 

     To improve student parking at ORHS, Towle continued to give his advice. “The big problem is that kids are rushing to get to school and to get inside and they don’t take their time to work on parking well… it doesn’t really take a lot to be good at parking, it just takes a little bit of time and thinking.”

     More specifically, Towle said, “when it comes to the actual parking, you want to stay as far away as you possibly can from where you are parking because that’s going to give you more time and more distance to make corrections.”    

     ORHS Bad Parking has been entertaining for many but the effects of bad parking can be damaging and possibly even dangerous according to Towle. As the snow season has arrived, Towle advised students to become more aware and cautious with their parking. As someone who has been featured on ORHS bad parking twice now, I know I will be more patient with my parking going forward.