A freshman arrives to school at 8:40 a.m. —just in time for his 9 a.m. Marine Biology class—and heads for student parking.

Upon arrival, two things surprise him. First, every student parking stall is filled. Second, nearly 20 other students are circling the lot, hunting for stalls. After 17 minutes of heart–pounding hunting, he succumbs to temptation and parks illegally. He is certain the ecosystem he just witnessed is worse than the one he will begin studying in less than four minutes.

Parking problems are as common a student complaint as tuition increases and book costs—consider this the veritable Trinity of Student Gripes. What many students don’t realize, however, is that our parking situation is similar, and even better than other “commuter” campuses.

The University of Utah charges $145 for parking passes, while BYU, though offering free parking to students, has no stalls closer than a 20–minute walk from campus. Also, many universities, like the University of Maryland, hold parking lotteries that allow “winning” students to buy a pass.

Comparisons aside, the facts remain—you attend UVU and parking is the bane of your existence.

If you are one of this year’s 12,000 bullet–biting pupils that acquired a parking permit, you may want to take the following into consideration.

We found that not only is the amount of parking stalls low, but at certain times of day, they are simply not enough. At 10 a.m., for example, there are 2,685 permit–wielding students on campus, fighting over a mere 2,600 stalls. Take into account those who park illegally and it’s easy to see why our parking lots are quite often, not–so–affectionately referred to as, “The Shark Tank.”

Predatory metaphors aside, there is great news in our future. Alongside the new Student Center, set to be completed in 2013, there will also be a four–story parking structure. We emphatically agree with Cory Duckworth, VP of Student Affairs, when he was asked about the project. He explained, “Though the project will displace the current student center visitor lot, the parking structure’s 456 new stalls will more than make up for it.”

If you can’t wait until 2013 for your parking concerns to be assuaged, here are some moves that this senior has accrued along the way.