The hunt is on. You crawl forward under the stifling Florida sun when you finally see it. Just as you're about to stake your claim, another driver whips around a corner and screeches into the spot right in front of you.
It's survival of the fittest when it comes to student parking at UF. Learning the rules early can make everything easier, though.
On-campus students can buy parking decals for Red or Red One zones, but only students who have lived on campus for at least a year and have at least 50 credit hours can buy a Red One decal, which allows the student to park in both Red and Red One lots. Students who live in family housing can park in Brown lots, and disabled students can use any lot.
Students who live off campus can buy a Park and Ride decal, which allows them to park in a commuter lot and take an RTS bus further into campus. Anyone can pay for timed parking at the UF Bookstore and Visitor Welcome Center garage by the Reitz Union.
Students with motorcycles or scooters can use any spot designated for those vehicles, although they still need a UF decal.
Just having a decal isn't always enough, though. Psychology junior Roshni Marballi brought her car for her sophomore year. On the first day of classes last fall, she parked her car and its Red One decal in a spot on Fletcher Drive in front of her dorm. She thought it was a Red One zone, but she hadn't seen the Orange decal sign across the street.
She said bringing a car has its ups and downs.
"I loved having it, but at the same time I hated it because of the parking," Marballi said.
Parking tickets are a rite of passage for UF students. English sophomore Ashley Banta said she parked her car in a wide spot outside Trusler Hall and received a $20 fine.
Banta chose to appeal the ticket, a route many students take. She got the fine down to $5 but said she wished she had taken a picture to send in with her appeal.
"After that, I was more paranoid about all the silly parking rules," Banta said.