Creatively driven: Seniors paint parking spots, showcase individuality

Ron Toback-Wolf

The freedom of expression is important to most teenagers, as their years in high school help define who they will become as an adult. The school continues to support their creativity by partnering with the Project Graduation committee to allow seniors to paint their parking spots with designs that reflect their personalities.

Senior Evan Pope is one of 130 seniors in 2019 to purchase a parking space. Students can pay $25, $40, or $50 for a parking space, depending on how close it is to the school. The money goes to project graduation at the end of the year, which is a lock-in for graduating seniors at the Texas A&M Rec center.

“It’s a guaranteed spot to park in in the morning,” Evan said. “It’s especially nice if you’re running late to school one morning or you want to get to school super early because you are guaranteed to have a spot every single day.”

At the beginning of the school year, students who purchase a spot can submit artwork for their space for administrative approval. Anything considered school appropriate is fair game. 

“I chose to do ‘I heart you 3000’,” Evan said. “But instead of a heart I did Tony Stark’s arc reactor with my name and 2020 on the edge.”

Senior Deion Johnson wanted to choose something humorous and unique for his spot. He came up with the idea to paint his rendition of a classic character from Courage the Cowardly Dog while browsing social media.

“I was scrolling through Instagram one day and saw a picture of Eustace with a fade, so I thought ‘hm what if I could do that’, so I made him with a beard,” Deion said. “I was like ‘what happens if I make him black’ so I made him black, put my name in there, put him with fade, and hnI really enjoyed it. Eustace is my favorite cartoon character.” 

Adding personal touches to their spaces is what makes each parking spot so meaningful.

“My parking spot is 2K20,” senior Umber Christian said, “which is a basketball game that comes out every year. I put Umb’s Edition at the bottom because it represents me.”

Though the senior parking spaces may feel expensive to some, many seniors see them as a worthy investment for the year.

 “The parking space is totally worth the cost,” senior Lauryn Woods said. “It was so much fun to do and it makes me happy. It’s like I’m leaving something here after I graduate because even when people paint over it, it’ll still be under there.”

Painting a parking space isn’t quite as easy as it seems. Things can come up in the painting process that can be frustrating and uncomfortable.

“The most difficult part of painting the spot was being on the ground and covering such a big area,” Lauryn said. “I scraped up my knees and my hands from being on the ground. It was over 100 degrees in the middle of the summer and the ground was hot, but it was still fun most of the time.”

The senior parking spaces have been a tradition at Bryan High for the past 5 years, and the fundraiser has since been considered a success. This much-loved tradition gives future seniors something to look forward to, as they each have an opportunity to leave their mark on the school.

“Every year it gets better and better,” Umber said. “There are older people who come and look at them so I feel like we are impacting the community.”