Car culture at St. John’s

On any given weekday morning, a quick stroll through St. John’s back parking lot will allow one
to see many of their classmates sitting in their cars. Groups of people as well as individuals
enjoying the atmosphere of their cars rather than venturing into the school building. When they
end up leaving their cars, most of them end up rushing to make it to class as they exit their cars
around 8:05. When asked about their love of sitting in their cars, St John’s students had many
different replies.

Student driver James Barnacle, of the Class of 2023, said that it gives [him] time to collect his
thoughts before the day starts in a place that is not noisy and is solely his own, a sentiment
shared by many others. He remarked that he felt the cafeteria was too full of people, which
fellow student driver Maria Ayoub of the Class of 2023 agrees with. Maria said that starting her
morning in her car allowed for her to have “quiet time” while being able to “blast music and
study” if that’s what she chooses to do.

Caroline Gotzman of the Class of 2023 may not be a student driver, but she certainly still enjoys
the benefits of car culture at St. John’s by sitting in her friend’s cars. This time with her friends
allows her to talk with [her] friends before school starts. She also remarked that mornings in
the car means that she and her friends can “blast music” which is part of why she chooses the car
over the library or the cafeteria as she cannot do that in either place.

Natasha Mosley of the Class of 2025 had a slightly different answer than her peers when asked
about why she chooses to spend her mornings in the car. Similar to Caroline, Natasha is not a
student driver, but finds herself in the car because her sister, a student driver, drives her to
school. She said that the appeal of sitting in the car comes from the fact that people-watching is
fun. From her car she is able to watch St. John’s students go about their business as they arrive
on campus.

For the St. John’s community, cars are a sacred space meant for the enjoyment of solitude,
friends, music, and more. This is why, according to the student drivers and non-drivers, car
culture is so prevalent at St. John’s; because it is a better and more personal alternative to school
provided spaces such as the cafeteria, library, or student walkway.

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