I spent an afternoon in the parking lot watching the seniors go to their cars. The pieces of the puzzle came together. The student’s personalities were matching the type of car they drove. Scott Oh, a senior came out to his car. I asked him why he decided to buy a G-wagon instead of a jeep. Scott said, “I prefer classical looking and it’s a Mercedes.” When asked about blacking out the front and side windows of the wagon, Scott said, “The sun was too bright and top notch looking cars are usually blacked out.” It was clear that it was important to Scott the have a luxury car that was very sharp looking. It mirrored what was important to him in life.
Another prominent group of car owners is the truck group. Noah Weinberger, a junior student drives a large pickup truck. I asked him why he decided to buy new rims for his truck. Noah said with a laugh, “because it looks sexier.” I then asked him why he chose to buy a truck over any other car. Noah said, “I like bigger vehicles because It makes me feel like king of the road; its more American.” Truck owners seem to like the height and power advantage that a large vehicle gives them on the road. The media also gives Americans an image of patriotism that often includes a truck and the American Flag.
To fully understand the relationship of a car to it’s owner, I asked one more female student about her car. There were no alterations done to the car. The part that stood out are the stickers. There are stickers from Bullis, college, vacation places, and sports teams. I asked her why she had the stickers on the car. She said, “the stickers tell a lot about me, I love all these places so I put the stickers on it to make it more personal and real to me.” The girl is proud of what her car says about her.
A car is as personal as the clothes you wear. It is the image that you want to portray to people. Students can be found hanging out by their cars because they are proud to share what their car means to them.