University of Maryland is such a different place from when I started back in August 1997. I honestly believe that the changes have been for the worse.
Don't get me wrong, our education programs are better. And our sports teams are better, notably football and basketball. But student life is suffering. Student activities fees are skyrocketing. Parking permit fees are skyrocketing while at the same time parking spaces for students are disappearing. Construction on campus has made car traffic almost impossible, bike traffic downright dangerous and pedestrian traffic crowded & muddled. Let's not get started on what it's done to the parking space availability.
These past 2 days have been frustrating for me as a Maryland alum and current student. First I found that since I had a student ticket for the first two UMd football games but did not go to the game and did not cancel my tickets "on time," I am no longer eligible for student football tickets. Thank you very much University of Maryland ticketing. I have been paying student activities fees every semester (and most summers) for each semester since Fall, 1997 (excepting Spring, 2000, when I took a semester off of school). I paid nearly $400 in student activities fees this semester and then paid another $100 for a ONE SEMESTER parking permit for my car. I have been a loyal Terp fan in all of this time. Yet now I cannot get student tickets and if I want to go to games, I must pay at least $15 per game for a guest ticket. THIS IS RIDICULOUS. Why would I pay $15 per game for a guest ticket (if they're even available) when my STUDENT ACTIVITIES FEES should already cover the cost of tickets for me?!?!
I've had a good reason for not going to games yet also not cancelling my tickets "on time," which it turns out is the game start time. Sometimes after a major surgery to a body part/joint that supports most of your weight, you just don't feel good enough to walk the quarter mile or so up to the stadium, proceed to stand/jump at the game for 3 hours and then walk back. ANYBODY who's had surgery like mine can attest to this. So for our first two games, I was tailgating and realized that it would be better for me not to attend. When you're at a tailgate, it's not common to have a computer nearby. So how could I go online to cancel my tickets when I had just decided not to go for my own health? And please don't suggest to me I could have driven home, because for these games, I was still in a short leg plaster cast on my right ankle and thus couldn't drive.
So thanks University of Maryland. What a fucking shitty way to spend my last semester; getting raped on activities fees and then not being allowed to go. I'm sure there's a lawsuit somewhere in there, but I'm depressed that it seems the only way to solve anything is to threaten a lawsuit. In the grand scheme, it's not worth the hassle. How sad.
I suppose after my frustrations with the student ticketing, it's understandable that I'd get frustrated easily with anything Maryland-related. I went to campus this morning to get to class. While I was already off on the wrong foot (made myself a latte with regular coffee instead of my espresso roast DOH!), it never occurred to me that i'd have a problem finding a parking space...after all, I paid $100 for my parking permit. Now, let's be honest, my permit is for Lot 4. Lot 4, for those not familiar with the UMd system, is relegated as "overflow parking." This means that if other lots are full, anybody with a numbered permit can park in Lot 4. It also means that if others are parking in Lot 4, it can fill up and I can't park anywhere. This is what happened today. Hence, my good intentions of actually going to class were shot down.
Luckily from there the day got much better. I ended up in Rockville to have lunch with my mom and Elisa, and then went to visit Meghan over at Barnes & Noble. I picked up the "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book)." What a GREAT book! If you haven't heard of it for its semi-notoroius "naked Supreme Court justices," you definitely need to go to a bookstore and at least leaf through it. I'd be surprised if you don't end up purchasing it (and do it now, while it's still a new release so you get a deal on the price!!!).